Perhaps one of the best places I’ve been on assignment is Jerusalem. The history alone is enough to fill you with awe; so many religious historical moments and markers lie within the walls of the Old City. It’s a place of deep-rooted conflicts and culture clashes. A true mixing of ethnicities. And amidst all of this history, religion and politics springs an amazing culture of food.
There is no better example of this than Mehane Yehuda market, in West Jerusalem. It’s Israel’s largest market – and, according to locals, it’s also the most frequently suicide-bombed market in the world. The market, called the “shuk” , is a place where Jews, Muslims and Christians stand elbow-to-elbow as they maul over produce, shop for freshly-baked marizipan rugalach, buy crispy, golden fried falafel or nosh on the creamiest hummus you’ll ever eat. Leave it to the geography of food to forget our differences, throw out the past, diffuse heated issues and bring us together. It’s an incredible experience, one that leaves an impression for a long time.
Below is my visual story on the market that I photographed for Saveur Magazine, published in the November 2009 issue.