Saturday, November 13, 2010
Give me rugelach or give me death.
My first time in Israel, 3 years ago, I was told of this magical place and told that I needed to seek it out. Since I was on Taglit (birthright) at the time, I was given a very short amount of un-supervised scouting time in the shuk...and unfortunately I never came across this small piece of heaven. However, the following summer I retuned to Israel to live for the summer months. I was lucky enough on that visit to be brought to Marzipan and introduced to the wonders that come from their large industrial pizza ovens. Ever since, I won't eat rugelach from anywhere else -- and the only other challah that even comes close to theirs is Cheryll Ann's.
This small, unassuming open aired store front on the top of Agripas street, a corner turn from Machane Ya'Hudah, would probably never be on a passerby's radar. To be honest, it looks like any other bakery stall - with fresh bureka's, donuts, and challahs displayed outfront - but it's what these delicious creations taste like that has Marzipan so packed on friday afternoons. Lucky for me though, I went on a thursday afternoon -- a time when you can actually walk through the shuk without worrying about being toppled over by the massive crowds of people shopping for shabbat dinner.
During my free afternoon in Jerusalem, I decided the only real place I wanted to go was to the shuk. After my glass of fresh squeezed pomegranate (rimon) juice, I set off on my journey to Marzipan. And as always, Marzipan never disappoints.
The chocolate rugelach is laid out on these GIANT metal baking sheets surrounding the inside of the storefront. Usually, during the shabbas rush, the 15 year old boys who man the operation have the rugelach pre-boxed and ready to go. Luckily, since I got to the shuk at a time when no one was really around, I got the fresh rugelach packed for me. For a box of about 25-30 pieces - costs 28 sheckles (about $8). It is the best $8 one could ever spend.
The rugelach itself is moist, gooey, and has just the right amount of chocolate and sweet in every bite. Smothered in butter as they leave the ovens, you can smell their deliciousness as you walk up the street. No matter how much time I have in Jerusalem - Marzipan is ALWAYS a required stop.
The box was devoured in less than 24 hours.