As part of the ongoing Best Markets series, today we’re trekking to deepest Brooklyn to shop at Golan Gourmet Imports, an Israeli market that specializes in dried fruit and nuts.
It’s a smallish, neighborhood market, packed with dried fruits, teas, candies and bins of nuts. The dried fruits look uniformly good, and there’s a fantastic variety available— everything from fat slices of California pears, peaches and nectarines to whole, diminutive cherry apples (which I’ve never seen before) and many kinds of dates and apricots.
Golan Gourmet’s Zaatar: this savory mixture of oregano, sesame seeds, sumac and salt is a common, and delicious, Middle Eastern seasoning. I like to sprinkle it on a cream-cheese-smeared bagel, or spoon it over baked fish. ($2.49 for 8 ounces)
Over in the refrigerated section are vacuum-packed bags of bright pink cold smoked salmon steaks.
Also in the refrigerated section, you can find schug, a little-known Israeli hot sauce. It’s actually more of a paste, made from red chiles, vinegar, tomatoes and herbs. You can use it as a dip, a condiment—it’s especially good mixed into hummus. And apparently, it’s also great with the Yemeni bread called malawah, which you can also find here in the freezer section. (Pikante brand; $3.99)
Date syrup: Pour it over yogurt, or combine it with equal parts tahini for a traditional sweet-nutty dip. The syrup tastes like a liquid raw sugar and can also be used in baking wherever honey is called for.
Golan Gourmet Imports
1348 Coney Island Ave (at Avenue J)
Brooklyn, NY 11230
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 30, 2008