Sunday, April 1, 2007

Shuk Levinsky erev erev Pessah

Business was brisk at Shuk Levinsky a market in Florentin specialising in spices, herbs, dried fruits, olives and fish products. Those in the know will cross town pick up olive oil, sauces, salami, cheeses, pickles or spreads at renowned delicatessens like Haim Rafael or Lupo .

But today is erev, erev Pessah and people in south Tel Aviv need a cheap but respectable present for the hostess on seder night. This creates a sudden surge in demand for something that looks wildly expensive but actually costs as little as possible. This demand is filled by the cellophane gift packages that suddenly appear in markets and other cheap outlets all over the city. The cellophane gift package (seen here being flogged off the back of a car) consists of a wickerwork basket mainly filled with vivid purple straw that also contains a half a bottle of cheap wine, a small jar of honey, two chocolate bars (all of previously unknown origin) and a card wishing you a happy Pessah. The whole sorry collection is then party-wrapped in swathes of bright cellophane further enhanced by squirly ribbons.

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