For many kosher tourists a main attraction of visiting Israel is food. You might write your postcards about your visit to the Western Wall or the Dead Sea, but what's really exciting is being able to find a restaurant, bakery or fast food stand with delicious food you can actually eat, anytime, anywhere. The French Riviera or the hills of Tuscany have their charms, but two weeks subsisting on sandwiches and fruit take their toll. In Israel you can feast on everything from sushi to shish kebab; you can even find out what's so exciting about McDonald's! Unfortunately, if a member of the family has a food allergy; your vacation in Israel can end up as a two-week intensive diet. With some preparation, however, you can enjoy your trip to Israel, even with a food allergy.Food allergy awareness in Israel
The first problem is that what you can't eat is just what Israelis love. There's nothing Israelis love more than than spicing up a dish – whatever it is – with a few peanuts or, if they're in the mood for something different, sesame seeds. Gluten is everywhere. The second problem is a lack of awareness. Though food allergies are increasing, they are very rare in Israel compared to North America, and awareness of them is rarer. Navigating Israel with a food allergy can be like trying to share a kosher kitchen with a ham buff. A waitress might sincerely promise that a dish contains no nuts and, when you find one on the side, she'll honestly wonder why you don't just scrape it off.Expertise
Ultimately, the difference between a wonderful family holiday and forty years in the wilderness comes down to preparation and local knowledge. Without it, you'll be eating apples in your hotel room. With it, you can enjoy any kind of dining experience you want, anywhere in the country. At Food Allergy Concierge we take pride in helping our customers have an Israel experience that is extraordinary, but also normal. Contact us for more details.
For some general tips on coping with a food allergy in Israel, check out this post on EMA Care.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA