Dec 29, 2011
In this year's SAVEUR 100, we take stock of our favorite things: recipes, people, places. We consider every last one a new classic.
On a recent trip to Israel, I became infatuated with silan
, or date honey. The sweet cola-colored syrup seemed to be everywhere: drizzled over roasted cauliflower; enriching sautéed eggplant; paired with tahini on a sandwich, the peanut butter and jelly of the Middle East. I brought ajar home and started stirring it into yogurt, salad dressings, and braising liquids—anywhere that honey or maple syrup might go—to impart a concentrated dried-fruit richness. Silan
is simply a boiled-down date and water mash. Though it was new to me, it has been a Middle Eastern staple for millennia; in the Bible, mentions of honey refer not to bees' honey, but to date honey. — Gabriella Gershenson
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #144