Spices from Israel

Spice shop, Tel Aviv

Every foodie knows that one of the best things to do when visiting a new country is checking out its unique collection of local spices. As a country that combines a multitude of cultures from all over the world, and has a unique climate, Israel is home to an incredible variety of different spices, which combine to offer a tremendous collection of mouth-watering local dishes. Here is our guide for the best ways to check out the great spices from Israel, for a colorful and flavorful experience in our unique country.

Best and most common spices from Israel


Cumin is a relative of vegetables such as parsley, coriander, dill, and carrots. Most of all, it is characterized by a unique and deep earthy taste, and is a crowd favorite in the cuisines of most Arabic countries, with an emphasis on the Maghreb region: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and also in the Far East, especially in India – where it joins famous spice mixes such as Garam masala. In Israel, this is one of the most popular spices, as cumin regularly ranks among the top five most purchased spices from Israel.


Paprika is simply red pepper that has been dried and then ground – or in the simplest terms, red pepper powder. The type of pepper – whether hot or sweet – is the main factor that affects its taste, and usually, the Israeli Paprika undergoes smoking during its processing – which adds a unique depth to it, that you won’t find in most places in the world. Paprika is of the same origin as tomatoes and potatoes, as it comes from the American continent, and was brought to Europe and the Middle East by the Spanish explorers and their successors.


Ginger is perhaps the most common spice in Israel, alongside the obvious salt and pepper. Like turmeric – it is a rhizome, that concentrates everything the plant needs to grow and reproduce within itself. Ginger first grew in southern India, and its name originates from a word in the ancient Sanskrit language that simply means body, as the ginger’s shape is a bit similar to the shape of the human body.

In most Arabic cuisines, ginger is mostly used as a part of the mixture of spices known as Baharat, which is used in various dishes like meatballs, kubbeh, and steamed dishes. In India, ginger is an extremely important ingredient, as it has a very dominant presence in the famous masala chai, as well as in a variety of spice mixes, and it is also used as a seasoning for various vegetarian and meat curries.


Just like its relative ginger, turmeric is neither a root nor a seed, but a tuber-like rhizome that contains a wealth of antioxidants and other healthy ingredients. Its source of origin is in the southeast of India, where it is used to dye fabrics and, of course, as the basis for a large number of dishes. In Israel, turmeric is very popular to use for soups, rice, and many other dishes.

Where should you buy spices from Israel?

An Israeli spice shop, Israel
An Israeli spice shop

Derech Hatavlinim Farm

An old family farm located in Bethlehem of Galilee that grows and produces spice mixes and herbs. Avi Ziterschpiler, the founder and owner of the place, has been applying traditional spices-growing methods that have been passed down from generation to generation for more than 50 years, producing a multitude of spices in very high quality.
Besides a huge variety of spices, the store offers fruit infusions, special seasoning mixes, natural cosmetics, and a small cookware department.


A small chain of spice shops, that operates in Northern Tel Aviv, Herzliya, the new Jaffa port market, and more, offers a colorful mix of about 50 types of spices, from standard paprika and pepper to six types of salt, herbs, and dried fruits without preservatives and infusions, to fresh natural honey.

The spices are stored in glass jars and nicely-designed boxes, and transparent tubes hanging from the ceiling are used to store other products, such as schnitzel coating mixtures and a variety of homemade granolas. Besides the aesthetic experience, Hamezaveh offers some unique products that are worth coming especially for, such as dried hibiscus, granola with halvah, and most of all – wonderful dried cherry tomatoes.


A wonderful spice shop located in a side alley in the market of the old city of Nazareth. Elbabour Spices is built on the foundations of a Templar mill from the end of the 19th century which provided milling and storage services to the farmers of the area, which you can still sense when you visit here today, as the shop has huge doors suitable for the passage of camels carrying sacks of grain.

When the Templars left the country, a local family purchased the mill and continues to operate it to this day. Rooms with high vaulted ceilings that were once used for grain storage have been converted into a display of endless types of well-known and lesser-known spices, legumes, tahini, coffee, sweets, and whatnot.

Maoz Hagar’in Vehatavlin

A neighborhood spice shop located in Mevaseret Tzion, just a few minutes’ drive from Jerusalem, offering a welcoming atmosphere and warm treatment given to all customers, old and new alike. The spices here are ground on-site while ensuring quality and the nuts are baked on-site with potato flour, making them also suitable for those who cannot eat gluten.

You can find here spice mixes from every corner of the globe, like Yemeni Hawaij for soup and coffee, Indian Garam masala, Moroccan Ras el hanout, and spices for Turkish shawarma.

A separate department is designed for the cuisines of East Asia and Mexico. and offers seaweed and rice for sushi, dried mushrooms, tortillas, Tabasco, and other typical ingredients. Another unique department is for baking and confectionery and includes chocolate from leading companies, sugar dough, marzipan, vanilla extracts, and vanilla sticks alongside cookware.


Another small chain, that is most known for its stand in the Tel Aviv Port market. Despite being a pretty small store, Hakole offers a large variety of spices; From different types of paprika through Garam Masala to cardamom and Hawaij, alongside seasoning mixes for rice, crackers, sweets, and lots of other goods, such as apricots and dried black raisins from Uzbekistan, as well as delicious halvas and granolas.

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