Food & Drink The Israeli Experience Magazine

A Druze Experience

The "Nations & Flavors" group in the Druze village of Ussefiya will teach you a few things that you did not know about the Druze People
by: Israel Traveler   |   16.05.2011
The Carmel region with its wonderful views and green vegetation is rich with attractions and provides plenty of reasons to come and visit it. But the "Nations & Flavors" group in the Druze village of Ussefiya gives another reason to come here that is important and unique. The purpose of this project is to provide the visitors with an authentic culinary and cultural experience which will help them to get to know better the customs and the traditions of the various ethnic groups that live in Israel, and among them also that of the Druze People. And no, we are not talking only about an authentic meal at a restaurant or a visit in a museum. The experience that you are being offered here is a much broader one.
The visitors are welcome to first tour the village of Ussefiya while accompanied by a Druze tour guide, and to enjoy the wonderful views of the Carmel region. The visitors will walk around in the alleys of the Old Quarter of Ussefiya, visit the Druze house of worship, a deserted church and an ancient olive press from the Talmud Period which is located inside a cave. For a brake we stop at the house of one of the families that live in the village of Ussefiya. After a brief introduction to the woman of the house the guests are invited to the Druze guest room which is called the "madpa". Here, in a special atmosphere, around a wood fireplace the tour guide will tell the guests about the Druze People, about their way of life, about their hidden religion, about the position of women within the Druze society, about the Druze military service in the Israel Defense Forces, about the connection of the Druze People with the State of Israel, and, of course, we will also hear some spine-tingling and hair-raising Druze stories on the subject of reincarnation, such as the Druze People are known for.
And after all of this, the culinary stage arrives, so that you will understand exactly how much the Druze hospitality is generous. Trays loaded with the best of Druze cuisine will be served to you one after the other- Druze pita bread, stuffed grapevines, and delicacies such as chicken or veal mansaf (rice with noodles, chicken or veal and cashew nuts), mansala (a cooked dish of eggplant with chickpeas and tomato sauce), stuffed zucchini, kebabs with tehina and many others. And by the way, this food is not only delicious but it is also kosher under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
We will conclude the meal with an herbal tea, strong coffee and cookies, according to the best of Druze tradition. And after you have had your stomachs filled you can also fill your hearts with a wonderful Druze folklore performance. The Druze folklore performance includes players of the musical instrument called oud and darbuka drums and songs by the singers Umm Kulthum and Farid al-Atrash will complete this unique and different experience for you. The tour and guest hospitality are suitable for groups only, from 10 and up to 300 visitors, and must be arranged in advance.
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