Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sugar cane and the etrog medicine man


You don't often see sugar cane in Jerusalem.
But two weeks ago these bundles caught my eye in the bazaar of the Old City.

And then in Mahane Yehuda market, there they were again!
The sign says 15 shekels for one kilo of fresh sugar cane.
A small glass of its juice, with a little lemon and ice added, will cost you 10 shekels.
A big glass is 18 shekels.

The pre-cut sections stood in the bucket, ready to be fed into the juicer below.

This is at the stall of the famous Uzi-Eli, the etrog medicine man.
He makes concoctions to improve your health and happiness.
I just now learn from Wikipedia that he came from Yemen in 1950 and is a 3rd-generation healer.
You will enjoy this little  video about him.
In medieval times the Galilee had many sugar mills.
If, like me, you never realized what a sugarloaf is, my earlier post has a picture of sugarloaves  and some history of sugar cane in Israel.


Kay said...

This is so interesting. I grew up in the middle of a sugar cane field and I don't remember ever drinking sugar cane juice. We did chew on it though... after the harvest burning.

Eki said...

Where do these sugar canes come from? Do you grow it in the Middle East? (I thought sugar cane was a tropical plant.)

How much is a shekel?

Dina said...

Kay, thanks for contributing your memories. Moshe remembers in the 1930s, when he lived near the sources of the Yarkon River, Arabs would go by leading donkeys laden with sugar cane, and he would get a few to chew on.

Eki, I think a little bit still grows somewhere in Israel. But not like a century ago, when there was more water here.
Today's rate is 1 shekel = $3.90.

Hilda said...

When we were kids in my mom's province, chewing on sugar cane was always a treat. I don't think my teeth and gums will survive the exercise now, though. I'll take the sugar cane juice. :D

Sara said...

Shalom Dina, thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it...also the video link. And I visited your previous post about the sugar cane. There's no end of things we can learn here on your blog! I had not idea sugar was being produced that long ago.

VP said...

I have never seen a sugar cane in my life!

JM said...

A common sight in the tropics but not here either. Love the juice!

Ann said...

I've only ever had fresh sugar cane juice once. It was wonderful.

sparrow said...

My only experience of sugar cane juice was in India and Malawi. Both times I got horribly ill afterwards. It is a great cure for headache because the belly ache makes you forget the headache!