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Oved Daniel serves sabich at his Givatayim shop. (Doron Farhi)

For the Israel-obsessed, culinary fascinations tend to hover around hummus, falafel, schwarma, and bamba. But what about sabich? Dana Kessler reports on the man who’s the snack’s greatest champion.

As opposed to hummus or falafel—Arabic dishes adopted by Israelis and exported around the world—sabich is a local concoction. The core ingredients can be found in the traditional Shabbat-breakfast of Iraqi Jews, but the idea of putting them into a pita and eating them as a sandwich is 100 percent Israeli. This shouldn’t be surprising, since Israelis consume everything in a pita, from schnitzel to Nutella. Nevertheless, the credit for this ingenious development is usually given to one Sabich Halabi, an Iraqi immigrant who opened what is believed to be the first sabich stand in Ramat Gan in 1961. Though Oved claims (perhaps jokingly) that the name is an acronym for the Hebrew words for salad-egg-more-eggplant, others believe it was named after Halabi, or at least stems from the Arabic word sabach, meaning morning.

Check out the rest here. There’s recipe for deep-fried eggplant included.





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