Tel Aviv – Yemenite Quarter – exploring Carmel Market

Carmel Market is Tel Aviv’s largest fruit and vegetable market, located right in the heart of the city on HaCarmel Street in the Yemenite quarter (Kerem HaTeimanim meaning ‘Vineyard of the Yemenites’). Neighbourhood map here, my city map here.

The market stretches for half a kilometre from Allenby Street in the north to Daniel Street in the south with the southern end focussing on food and the northern end on clothing. The latter is best avoided on Fridays when it’s so busy that you can only move in a slow single file shuffle. The thoroughfare on the southern end is a bit wider but it’s still a more enjoyable experience in the week when you have more elbow room and can stop where you want without blocking the feisty old ladies with their shopping trolleys.

The sheer variety of ingredients is simply gob-smacking…

Of course there are oranges. Growing up in the UK, ‘Jaffa’ was a synonym for orange so if felt good to finally be in the place where they come from.

We stopped several times for cups of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (also very nice when mixed with passion fruit).

One stall had four kinds of courgettes!

Lots of olives, stuffed and dressed.

Beautiful shiny dates.

Dried fruit of all kinds.

Citrus in particular.

More spices than you can shake a fist at.

The odd butchers.

Hillsides and whole mountain ranges of Baklava (layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sugar syrup)…

…and sweeping plains of pistachio pastries.

Slabs of dried fruit and nuts solidified in syrup.

Many flavours of Halva, a nut-butter sweet which in Israel typically contains sesame tahini, glucose, sugar, vanilla, soapwort and any one of a number of different flavourings.

A rainbow of Turkish Delight.

Not sure if these are sweet or savoury but they look similar to Indian Jalebis (deep fried flour soaked in sugar syrup).

One thing you can’t forget though is that there’s a war on…

We walked the market at least three times and still saw new things each time. It was definitely one of my favourite experiences in Tel Aviv.

Please see my next post for great places to eat around the market…

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