On Location With Mariana van Zeller
Travel along with well-seasoned journalist and host Mariana van Zeller as she takes us behind the scenes of Breaking Borders.
Old JerusalemPickle seller in Old Jerusalem. Michael Voltaggio and I spent our first and last day in Jerusalem roaming around Souk Khan El-Zeit. We both love to eat and shop, and this open-air market in the Old City was the perfect place for both. Related: Mother of All Conflicts 960 1280
West Bank City of HebronPalestinian men in the West Bank city of Hebron. More than any other place on our trip, this is where we really felt the anger and resentment on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's another city divided, with around 80% controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the other 20% administered by Israel. 960 1280
Traveling in StyleI travel a lot, usually to places no one wants to go. But then sometimes, I get lucky. In this case, WE (the chef and I) got lucky. I could do away with the camel riding, but no one's taking the Pyramids of Giza from us. Over 4,500 years of pure wonder that will stay with us forever. 960 1280
Cooking in Extreme ConditionsMichael Voltaggio has cooked in some pretty cool places for this show, but I think he'll agree with me that this one hit the high note. He had just a few hours to cook large amounts of incredibly awesome food, while I tried to make myself useful, but every few minutes, we'd both look up and gasp. 960 1280
Belfast, Northern IrelandThe "Peace Wall" in Belfast still separates Northern Ireland's Catholic and Protestant communities. It was built following the start of the conflict known as "The Troubles" and has stood for 45 years, longer than the Berlin Wall. Tourists from all over the world write messages on it, as did Michael and I. Can you guess what we wrote? Hint: best show on TV. Also, "peace" in my mother tongue. Related: A History Tour of Ireland 960 1280
Shankill Road, BelfastMichael in front of a loyalist memorial on Shankill Road in Belfast. Shankill (which means "the old church") was a center for Protestant paramilitarism during the Troubles and was the target of several bomb and gun attacks by the Irish Republican Army, or IRA. 960 1280
Roadside Roasted LambOur amazing guide Sabina told us that we had to stop at this roadside restaurant on the way back from Mostar to try the famous Bosnian roasted lamb on a spit. Apparently, these restaurants have become so popular here that they now call this region "the Silence of the Lambs." 960 1280
A Chef's MindMichael usually starts jotting down some ideas for the big meal the day before. In Bosnia, I got lucky and got to see his brilliant mind at work. He did all this during our last shoot of the day, at an old bar in Sarajevo. It's a possible list of dishes, ingredients and some food presentation ideas. Wish I'd stolen the original copy. It might well be worth millions one day! :-) 960 1280
ShawarmaDelicious Middle Eastern spices are infused into either lamb, chicken, turkey, beef or veal, and then the meat is slow-cooked for nearly 24 hours to create shawarma. The most popular ways to eat shawarma are in a gyro or with flatbread (aka taboon bread). Find shawarma at countless places in Jerusalem, including Hamarosh and Moshiko. 960 1280
FalafelThe falafel, made of fava beans and/or chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), is extremely good and healthy. It's normally topped with a variety of ingredients, including tahini, cucumbers, tomatoes and more. Almost always sold alongside shawarma, falafel has found its way to the West, quickly becoming a go-to for a quick meal in large cities such as New York City and Washington, D.C. 960 1280
RugelachThis gem is made of yeast-leavened, sour cream or cream cheese dough that’s filled with some of the sweetest combinations around: raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, chocolate, marzipan, poppy seeds or fruit preserves. When in Jerusalem, try rugelach at the popular Marzipan Bakery. 960 1280
A tasty treat similar to its Italian cousin, the pretzel, beigeleh (or ka'ak in Arabic) is rolled-up dough covered in sesame seeds and served with an herb packet of za'atar for dipping. Beigeleh is sold on the streets in the Christian and Muslim quarters of Jerusalem's Old City.
Related: Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock960 1280
MusakhanIncredible flavors, along with a tasty bird, top a piece of taboon bread for musakhan. Cardamom, black pepper, olive oil and onions — to name a few of the ingredients — make this dish very tasty. Enjoy it from vendors in the Muslim Quarter or at Philadelphia Restaurant in East Jerusalem. 960 1280
HummusUsually served with taboon bread, hummus consists of ground chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) with sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon and garlic. The Middle Eastern staple comes with almost every dish. New twists on traditional hummus include adding eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, figs, spinach, feta and countless other combinations. 960 1280
SachlabSachlab, a pudding-drink made from a certain orchid plant, is served hot and enjoyed with coconut shavings, nuts and cinnamon. If you're up for trying something new, sample sachlab at the 24-hour Mifgash HaSheikh café. 960 1280
Served a variety of ways (e.g., shawarma), lamb is a staple meat in Jerusalem. Enjoy it slow-cooked at Darna, a fine-dining Moroccan restaurant in Jerusalem.
Related: Moroccan Goat Tagine960 1280