Ein Karem: A Walking and Cooking Tour of the Biblical Village
By Pnina Ein Mor, Atalya Ein Mor, and Michal Fattal
Photography: Michal Fattal
Winner of the 2016 Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Category: Culinary Travel
Nestled in the foothills of Jerusalem, the village of Ein Karem is a haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. Reputed to be the Biblical village of Beth HaKerem and, according to Christian tradition, the birthplace of John the Baptist, this place is a treat for the senses. Here you might hear bells ring and a donkey bray as you walk through winding lanes past artists’ homes and restaurants, gazing in wonder at church towers, the minaret of a mosque, orchards, olive groves and centuries-old trees.
This collection of stories and recipes is the work of three creative professionals who want to share their profound love and in-depth knowledge of their home in the Holy Land. Pnina Ein Mor, a tour guide and environmental activist, guides readers through the houses and narrow alleyways, revealing the legends behind them. Her daughter Atalya Ein Mor, a sought-after chef who caters for international clients, relates her personal experiences of growing up in Ein Karem through easy-to-prepare Mediterranean dishes. Michal Fattal, a photographer whose work has been featured in galleries and publications worldwide, captures the light, sites, and mystery of the place.
The photographs and tales provide a glimpse of the past and present landscape, art, architecture, and the diverse religious heritage of Ein Karem. Born and raised amid the prickly pear cactus (sabra) and fig, almond, olive, and pomegranate trees, Atalya cooks up a feast of colors and aromas through recipes influenced by the village’s rich and varied local produce.
The authors hope to infuse the reader with the flavors, sights, and history of this ancient and enchanting village, under consideration for designation as a World Heritage Site.