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Coming from America, the shopping experience can be a bit confusing when it comes to food- namely chicken and meat. There are so many choices of styles, stores, and hold up… what do those words even mean on the package? Let’s jump right in to a few important points which will help simplify shopping for these staple proteins!
Fresh vs. Frozen: When buying from your local small makolet it is unlikely that there will be freshly packaged chicken and meat. Rather, there will be a freezer section where you can find frozen products. If you scan the label on the product and see the expiration date has passed, there isn’t necessarily need to worry as it is most likely that it was put to freeze before that date and is thus perfectly good. Now, if you need to cook as soon as you return from your shopping trip and don’t have time to defrost, or would just prefer your chicken or meat fresh you may need to go to a larger store or butcher’s shop. Depending on which store you go to, the fresh products may be sold in different ways. There may be packaged products in refrigerated sections which you can grab yourself, or you may have to choose from items on display behind a counter. Choosing from behind a counter, as is often found in butcher shops, may be appealing if you are interested in buying a customized amount or variety of chicken or meat as you can tell the employee what you would like.
It may be much easier to walk over to your local makolet especially if you do not live near a large supermarket and would need to schlep with all your bundles. However, each type of store has its own perks. While the little makolet may be more convenient, it may be significantly more costly than a larger supermarket- especially when it comes to more expensive items such as chicken and meat.
Here is a list of larger supermarkets where you can find chicken and meat at good prices:
Shaarei Revacha– Located on Yirmiyahu street 25.
Shaarei Revacha is one of my personal favorites. The prices are very reasonable. Additionally, before deciding on a product, you have the liberty off finding out the exact price by scanning the price tag and weighing the item on machines conveniently located throughout the fridge/freezer section of the store.
Osher Ad-located on Shamgar street 16.
Osher Ad is a great store which sells a lot of products in bulk thus bringing their prices down. If you’re familiar with Bingo in Lakewood, it’s basically the same store just the Israeli version!
Yesh (Paran)– Located on Paran street 7.
Yesh is a great and convenient option for those living in Ramat Eshkol and its surrounding neighborhoods. Although not the best, their prices are pretty decent. Additionally, besides for their nicely stocked freezer section, Yesh has a butcher on duty behind a fresh chicken and meat counter.
Rami Levi Mehadrin– Located on Kanfei Nesharim street 26.
Although it may be a bit of a schlep, Rami Levi Mehadrin is top of the line when it comes to good prices for the top hashgachas. Their freezer section has a tremendous variety of great quality products including lamb and tongue.
If you have a liking for high quality products and specialties you may want to visit a butcher shop! Here’s a look at some of my favorites:
Metaam Chofetz Chaim– Located on Agripas street 30.
Metaam Chofetz Chaim is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for American style deli. From the turkey to salami to pastrami, it’ll definitely bring you a taste of home. Their selection of delicacies and frozen meats is really top of the line. Additionally, if you would like to grab something tasty on your trip- they’ve got the best homemade deli style pickles in town!
Hackers– Located on Ahinoam street 12
Simply put, Hackers is a top-notch butcher shop known for carrying fresh products with a great hechsher. Another plus about this store is its location for those living in Sanhedria and its surrounding neighborhoods.
La Boucherie– Located on Ha-Rav Uzi’el street 30.
If you’re looking to bring out your inner chef, this is the right place to go! La Boucherie is an excellent French butcher shop in Bayit V’gan under the hashgacha of Harav Machpud. This shop sells the specialty French cuts- sirloin and filet mignon which are difficult to find in many other locations due to complex halachos of shechitah.
Naknik Katzavim– Located on Beit Ha-Defus street 34.
Naknik Katzavim is a bit on the pricier side. However, it has a nice variety of artisan meats from many different cuisines. If you’d like to taste the difference between American and South African styled beef jerky, this is the place to go.
Lastly, if you’re choosing a package of chicken or meat without any assistance you want to know you’re getting the right thing! Here are the translations of different chicken pieces and some meat cuts:
Breasts- Chazot/ חזות
Drumsticks- shokim/ שוקיים
Thighs- yerechaim/ ירכיים
Leg quarters (thigh + drumstick)- kerayim/ כרעיים
Wings- kanafayim/ כנפיים
Necks- garonot/ גרונות
Boneless baby chicken- pargiyot/ פרגיות
Boneless white chicken- shnitzelim/ שניצלים
Ground chicken- ohf tachun/ עוף טחון
Ribeye- entrecôte/ אנטרקוטת
Brisket- chazeh bakar/ חזה בקר
Short ribs- asado/ אסאדו
Shoulder roast- katef mercazi/ כתף מרכזי
Tenderloin- fillet bakar/ פילה בקר
Ground meat- basar tachun/ בשר טחון
For download: My Guide to Meats in Israel