Exploring Israeli Spices: Flavorful Journeys from the Holy Land

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By Daniel Goodman

Updated July 4, 2024.

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In this article

Israeli cuisine is a delightful diverse mosaic of culinary influences from various regions and historical backgrounds. It weaves together the vibrant flavours of the Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and beyond, creating a truly unique and unforgettable experience for food lovers.

As a melting pot of cultures, Israel boasts an astonishing range of culinary delights and Israeli spices.

Among its culinary treasures, Israeli spices stand out, offering a vibrant palette that enriches both traditional and modern dishes. These spices not only add a bit of depth to your dish but also carry centuries of history and cultural significance. Let’s embark on a spicy journey through some of the most beloved Israeli spices and discover how you can bring a taste of the Holy Land into your kitchen with Artza.


Made up from: Thyme, sesame seeds, sumac

Za’atar is a versatile Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used in marinades or as a seasoning to liven up countless foods.

Za'atar is a versatile blend that can be used as a seasoning for breads, meats, and vegetables. It has a herby and earthy flavor profile with bursts of lemony tartness and nuttiness, making it a delightful addition to a variety of dishes. Sprinkle it on anything where those flavors would shine!


Made up from: Dried sumac berries

The name sumac comes from the Arabic “summaq,” which means “dark red.”

Sumac is an essential spice in Middle Eastern cooking, known for its tangy, smoky, earthy, and slightly sour flavor profile. With its deep red shade and fruity, citrusy taste, sumac adds both acidity and color to your meals. It brings a bright, lemony flavor to dishes, making it perfect for seasoning salads like fattoush, sprinkling over hummus, or using as a marinade for meats and fish.

This versatile spice is the main flavor maker in traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as fattoush salad and musakhan. Sumac can add depth and tang to a variety of foods, including chicken, fish, and all sorts of salads.


Made up from: Black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves

Baharat is a very common spice blend in middle eastern cooking. The word baharat actually means "spices" in Arabic. Baharat is a quintessential Middle Eastern spice blend known for its warm, aromatic, and complex flavor profile. Composed of black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves, this blend is the secret to elevating your culinary creations. It's perfect for bringing a little spicey flavor for your meat dishes, stews, and soups. Sprinkle it into ground meat for mouthwatering kebabs or use it to bring a rich, spicy depth to a hearty vegetable stew. This enchanting blend adds a touch of the Middle Eastern to your meals.


Made up from: Chili peppers, garlic, various spices

Harissa is a fiery and flavorful North African and Middle Eastern spice blend composed of chili peppers, garlic, and various spices. This blend brings heat and depth to any dish, making it an essential addition to your spice collection.

Harissa is traditionally used to flavor regional dishes such as stews, tagines, couscous, and more. It also makes a great dipping sauce when mixed with oil or yogurt, adding a bold kick to your meals.

Cumin: The Earthy Essential

Made up from: Cumin seeds Cumin is the earthy essential spice that adds a fiery kick to your dishes. Made solely from cumin seeds, its warm, spicy, and sharp flavor is a must-have in Israeli, Middle Eastern cuisine.

This versatile spice is a key player in many dishes, from comforting soups and stews to succulent roasted meats. With its hint of sweetness, cumin perfectly complements comforting dishes, making it the ultimate spice for creating soul-warming soups, stews, and spiced gravies.

Turmeric: The Golden Spice

Made up from: Ground turmeric root

Turmeric commonly refers to a yellow and strong-flavoured powdery spice. Made purely from ground turmeric root, it's like adding a burst of sunshine to your dishes. Known for its vibrant color and a plethora of health benefits, turmeric is not just your average spice—it's a superstar!

Whether you're whipping up rice dishes, soups, or stews, turmeric brings that dazzling golden hue and a hint of subtle flavor that'll make your taste buds dance with delight. Plus, it's not just about the taste—it's about the glow-up your food gets with this deep, golden-orange spice.

Explore the rich and diverse world of Israeli spices with Artza’s curated selection of gourmet products; such as our Schnitzel Spice Mix, or Jerzeel Valley Herb Mix. Whether you’re looking to recreate traditional dishes or add a new twist to your favorite recipes, these spices will bring the authentic flavors of Israel into your home. Visit the Artza store to discover these and other culinary treasures that celebrate the vibrant taste of the Holy Land.