In the early summer, the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot is celebrated. Israel food, featuring an ethnic melting pot of culinary delights from all over the world, is as diverse as its people. [8] It is typically baked in a very low oven overnight and eaten after synagogue services on Sabbath morning. Goldstar and Maccabi are Israeli beers. [98] A modern Hebrew euphemism for pork is "white meat". It can be fried and cooked. For example, privately owned dairies began to produce handmade cheeses from goat, sheep and cow's milk, which quickly became very popular both among chefs and the general public. Bourekas are sold at kiosks, supermarkets and cafes, and are served at functions and celebrations, as well as being prepared by home cooks. Limonana, a type of lemonade made from freshly-squeezed lemons and mint, was invented in Israel in the early 1990s and has become a summer staple throughout the Middle East.[88][89]. Oh yes, Israel is one heck of a place to come if you're into eating good food! They are commonly served at weddings and other celebrations.. Roasted vegetables includes bell peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, eggplants and also sometimes potatoes and zucchini. These are three-cornered pastries filled most often with poppy seed, but also other fruit fillings. Initially, the moshavim (farming cooperatives) and kibbutzim produced mainly soft white cheese as it was inexpensive and nutritious. Food is no different, and a rich food culture made up of a composite of various cuisines perfectly reflects the spirit of the Jewish people and country itself. Israeli cuisine (Hebrew: המטבח הישראלי‎ ha-mitbaḥ ha-yisra’eli) comprises both local dishes and dishes brought to Israel by Jews from the Diaspora. [55], Soft white cheese, gvina levana, is often referred to by its fat content, such as 5% or 9%. The Jewish people trace their ancestry to Abraham who settled in the land of Canaan around the 17th century BCE. [4], In addition, Jewish holidays influence the cuisine, with the preparation of traditional foods at holiday times, such as various types of challah (braided bread) for Shabbats and Festivals, jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) for Hanukah, the hamantaschen pastry (oznei haman) for Purim, charoset, a type of fruit paste, for Passover, and dairy foods for Shavuot. [18], Israel does not have a universally recognized national dish; in previous years this was considered to be falafel, deep fried balls of seasoned, ground chickpeas. These include cheeses and yogurts, cheese-based pies and quiches called pashtidot, cheese blintzes, and cheesecake prepared with soft white cheese (gvina levana) or cream cheese. [83], Amba is a pickled mango sauce, introduced by Iraqi Jews, and commonly used a condiment with shawarma, kebabs, meorav yerushalmi and falafel and vegetable salads.[83]. These wines are kosher and have won silver and gold medals in international competitions. Location of Israel . [58] Some variations of the dish are cooked with liberal use of ingredients such as eggplant, chili peppers, hot paprika, spinach, feta cheese or safed cheese. [102], Shakshouka, originally a workman's breakfast popularized by North African Jews in Israel, is made simply of fried eggs in spicy tomato sauce, with other vegetable ingredients or sausage optional. For guests and locals alike, food culture is one of the highlights of experiencing Israel. 2 HISTORY AND FOOD Israel's diverse population makes its cuisine unique. [103] Shakshouka in pita is called shakshouka be-pita.[104]. It is especially common to eat them during breakfast because meat is usually not eaten in the morning. Jews from Tunisia make a sausage, called osban, with a filling of ground meat or liver, rice, chopped spinach, and a blend of herbs and spices. Over that time, these traditions have been shaped by influences from Asia, Africa and Europe, and religious and ethnic influences have resulted in a culinary melting pot. [126], Baked dishes, cookies, pastries, Rugelach, Women's International Zionist Organization, Jews from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, religious restrictions on the consumption of pork, Independence Day: The feast that moved away from home, Our man cooks slowly: Eucalyptus restaurant, Shakshuka: Israel’s hottest breakfast dish, "Carmel Winery: A Microcosm Of The Middle East", "The Makings of History / Pork and the people", Only third of Israel's restaurants kosher, "On Israel's Only Jewish-Run Pig Farm, It's The Swine That Bring Home the Bacon - Letter From Kibbutz Lahav By April 24, 2008", Restaurants in Israel: The Israeli Restaurant Guide, Israeli Kitchen â€“ food, wine and bread from the heart of Israel,, Articles with dead external links from March 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia extended-confirmed-protected pages, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 01:25. [30], Salat avocado is an Israeli-style avocado salad, with lemon juice and chopped scallions (spring onions), was introduced by farmers who planted avocado trees on the coastal plain in the 1920s. Sabiḥ is a pita filled with fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, salad, tehina and pickles. [16], Although many, if not most, Jews in Israel do not keep kosher, the tradition of kashrut strongly influences the availability of certain foods and their preparation in homes, public institutions and many restaurants, including the separation of milk and meat and avoiding the use of non-kosher foods, especially pork and shellfish. They arrived when only basic foods were available and ethnic dishes had to be modified with a range of mock or simulated foods, such as chopped “liver” from eggplant, and turkey as a substitute for veal schnitzel for Ashkenazim, kubbeh made from frozen fish instead of ground meat for Iraqi Jews, and turkey in place of the lamb kebabs of the Mizrahi Jews. From oversharing with waiters to standing in silence on a bus on Memorial Day or just hoarding food ahead of the Yom Kippur fast, here are some of the funniest and truest traditions and customs only Israelis understand. Actually, there are quite a few desert gems where you can get a great meal. It is baked plain, or with a topping of sesame or nigella seeds or za'atar. Almost all serve baked goods and sandwiches and many also serve light meals. Foods like Hummus may have the top spot for the region, but there are several foods you have to try if you’re traveling through the area. It has the highest standard of living in the Middle East. These are called mishloach manot ("sending of portions"), and often include wine and baked goods, fruit and nuts, and sweets. Particularly in Jerusalem, they continued to develop their culinary style, influenced by Ottoman cuisine, creating a style that became known as Jerusalem Sephardi cuisine. Typically, the staff of army kitchens, schools, hospitals, hotels and restaurant kitchens has consisted of Mizrahi, Kurdish and Yemenite Jews, and this has had an influence on the cooking fashions and ingredients of the country.[4]. Bulgur is a kind of dried cracked wheat, served sometimes instead of rice. In modern Israel, this filling dish, in many variations, is still eaten on the Sabbath day, not only in religiously observant households, and is also served in some restaurants during the week. Stuffed chicken in Israel is usually stuffed with rice, meat (lamb or beef), parsley, dried fruits like dates, apricots or raisins, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice; sometimes herbs like thyme and oregano (not the dried ones) are added on the top of the chicken to give it a flavor and than it is baked in the oven. [47][48], Fish, traditionally carp, but now other firm white fish too, are minced and shaped into loaves or balls and cooked in fish broth, such as the gefilte fish of the Ashkenazi Jews, who also brought pickled herring from Eastern Europe. It is often served neat or mixed with ice and water, which creates a reaction turning the liquor a milky-white colour. Especially popular are kubba prepared from bulgur and stuffed with ground lamb and pine nuts, and the soft semolina or rice kubba cooked in soup,[39] which Jews of Kurdish or Iraqi heritage habitually enjoy as a Friday lunchtime meal. “Kibbutz foods” have been adopted by many Israelis for their light evening meals as well as breakfasts, and may consist of various types of cheeses, both soft and hard, yogurt, labne and sour cream, vegetables and salads, olives, hard-boiled eggs or omelets, pickled and smoked herring, a variety of breads, and fresh orange juice and coffee. Other North African dishes popular in Israel include couscous, shakshouka, matbucha, carrot salad and chraime (slices of fish cooked in a spicy tomato sauce). [44][45], Ptitim is an Israeli pasta which now comes in many shapes, including pearls, loops, stars and hearts, but was originally shaped like grains of rice. The Passover dinner, for example, comes to remind us of the story of Exodus. Stuffed dates and dried fruits served with rice and bulgur dishes. Supermarkets offer a variety of commercially prepared hummus, and some Israelis will go out of their way for fresh hummus prepared at a hummusia, an establishment devoted exclusively to selling hummus. Malawach is a thin circle of dough toasted in a frying pan. Dishes cooked with pomegranate juice are common during this period. Once considered primarily a food for children, ptitim is now prepared in restaurants both in Israel and internationally.[46]. Tea is also a widely consumed beverage and is served at cafés and drunk at home. From traditional Jewish Eastern-European stews to street food brought over by Jewish Iraqi immigrants, these delicious Israeli dishes reflect the diversity of its population and will appeal to all tastes. [106], Malabi is a creamy pudding originating from Turkey prepared with milk or cream and cornstarch. It is usually sold in markets or by street vendors, especially in the winter. Since antiquity, Jewish communities all over the world devised meat casseroles that begin cooking before the lighting of candles that marks the commencement of the Sabbath on Friday night, so as to comply with the religious regulations for observing the Sabbath. The triangular shape may have been influenced by old illustrations of Haman, in which he wore a three-cornered hat. A particularly Israeli variation of the salad is made with mayonnaise called salat ḥatzilim b'mayonnaise. While you can find falafel everywhere in Israel, Falafel Razon, a cheap takeaway spot right by the Carmel Market, is the best. [101], Hummusia is an establishment that offers mainly hummus with a limited selection of extras such as tahina, hardboiled egg, falafel, onion, pickles, lemon and garlic sauce and pita or taboon bread. It was through my passion of cooking that inspired me to learn more about cooking. Its popularity has resulted in supermarkets selling it in plastic packages and restaurants serving richer and more sophisticated versions using various toppings and garnishes such as berries and fruit. The successful development of aquaculture ensured a steady supply of fresh fish, and the agricultural revolution in Israel led to an overwhelming choice and quality of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. Grilled and barbecued meat are common in Israeli cuisine. Sabich salad is a variation of the well known Israeli dish Sabich, the ingredients of the salad are eggplant, boiled eggs/hard boiled eggs, tahini, Israeli salad, potato, parsley and amba. It is also a popular treat among American Jews. [35] The Ottoman Turks introduced stuffed vine leaves in the 16th century and vine leaves are commonly stuffed with a combination of meat and rice, although other fillings, such as lentils, have evolved among the various communities. [113][116], For desserts or informal gatherings on Shabbat, home bakers still bake a wide variety of cakes on Fridays to be enjoyed on the Sabbath, or purchased from bakeries or stores, cakes such as sponge cake, citrus semolina cake, cinnamon or chocolate babkas, and fruit and nut cakes.[63]. [80], Chili-based hot sauces are prominent in Israeli food, and are based on green or red chili peppers. Ashkenazi dishes include chicken soup, schnitzel, lox, chopped liver, gefilte fish, knishes, kishka and kugel. [21], Vegetable salads are eaten with most meals, including the traditional Israeli breakfast, which will usually include eggs, bread, and dairy products such as yogurt or cottage cheese. Another unique market in Tel Aviv is the Levinsky Market, offering fresh olives, pickled fish, dried fruit, tea from around the world, boutique cheeses and wines – along with … [60] Fruits grown in Israel include avocados, bananas, apples, cherries, plums, lychees, nectarines, grapes, dates, strawberries, prickly pear (tzabbar), persimmon, loquat (shesek) and pomegranates, and are eaten on a regular basis: Israelis consume an average of nearly 160 kilograms (350 lb) of fruit per person a year.[61]. Like other pasta, it can be flavored in many ways with spices, herbs and sauces. From the 1950s, mass-produced bread replaced these loaves and standard, government subsidized loaves known as leḥem aḥid became mostly available until the 1980s, when specialized bakeries again began producing rich sourdough breads in the European tradition, and breads in a Mediterranean style with accents such as olives, cheese, herbs or sun-dried tomatoes. [110], Misada Mizrahit (literally "Eastern restaurant") refers to Mizrahi Jewish, middle eastern or Arabic restaurants. Fresh fish is readily available, caught off Israel's coastal areas of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, or in the Sea of Galilee, or raised in ponds in the wake of advances in fish farming in Israel. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful in Israel and are cooked and served in many ways. Halva is a sweet, made from tehina and sugar, and is popular in Israel. Israel is located in the general area known as the Middle East, which is a recognized geographical region of western Asia. Generally, "instant" couscous is widely used for home cooking. [13] Sephardi hamin contains chicken or meat, rice, beans, garlic, sweet or regular potatoes, seasonings such as turmeric and cinnamon, and whole eggs in the shell known as haminados. [32][33], Modern Israeli interpretations of the meze blend traditional and modern, pairing ordinary appetizers with unique combinations such as fennel and pistachio salad, beetroot and pomegranate salad, and celery and kashkaval cheese salad.[34]. Mizrahi cuisine, the cuisine of Jews from North Africa, features grilled meats, sweet and savory puff pastries, rice dishes, stuffed vegetables, pita breads and salads, and shares many similarities with Arab cuisine. [31], A meze of fresh and cooked vegetable salads, pickled cucumbers and other vegetables, hummus, ful, tahini and amba dips, labneh cheese with olive oil, and ikra is served at festive meals and in restaurants. [56] In the north of the country, Labneh balls preserved in olive oil are more common than in the central and the southern parts. Sushi, in particular, has taken hold as a popular style for eating out and as an entrée for events. Malabi is a creamy pudding originating from Turkey prepared with milk or almond milk (for a kosher version) and cornstarch. And while there are places where there is a primary focus on one specific cuisine, the rule of thumb is that mixing everything together only improves it. Various types of sausage are part of Sephardi and Mizrahi cuisine in Israel. As a result, Israel has a dynamic, creative and diverse culture. Foods variously prohibited in Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut) and in Muslim dietary laws (Halal) may also be included in pluralistic Israel's diverse cuisine. A large variety of breads is now available from bakeries and cafes. [4], The first Hebrew cookbook, written by Erna Meyer, and published in the early 1930s by the Palestine Federation of the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO), exhorted cooks to use Mediterranean herbs and Middle Eastern spices and local vegetables in their cooking. Most have outdoor seating to take advantage of Israel's Mediterranean climate. Members of the Heartbeat Association preparing food baskets for culture and events workers in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Monday. Rugelach is very popular in Israel, commonly found in most cafes and bakeries. To expand further on Israel’s food culture in religion, there are numerous religious holidays, festivals, and feasts that are celebrated. More upscale restaurant versions are served on an open flat bread, a lafa, with steak strips, flame roasted eggplant and salads. Mangos are frequently used in fusion dishes and for making Sorbet. A lafa is larger, soft flatbread that is rolled up with a falafel or shawarma filling. [114][115] Moroccan Jews prepare variations known as dafina or skhina (or s′hina) with meat, onion, marrow bones, potatoes, chickpeas, wheat berries, eggs and spices such as turmeric, cumin, paprika and pepper. Food has remained a major part of the Jewish people’s struggle. It is grilled with salt and black pepper and sometimes with spices like cumin or baharat spice mix. Falafel is a staple of Israeli cuisine and the food your vegetarian friends have been eating for decades. Also, fusion cuisine is rising in popularity. The heterogeneous nature of culture in Israel is also manifested in Israeli cuisine, a diverse combination of local ingredients and dishes, with diasporic dishes from around the world. Sacher torte and Linzer torte are sold at professional bakeries, but cheesecake and strudel are also baked at home. [7], Ethnic heritage cooking, both Sephardic and Ashkenazi, has made a comeback with the growing acceptance of the heterogeneous society. They can be bought freshly roasted from shops and market stalls that specialize in nuts and seeds as well as packaged in supermarkets, along with the also well-liked pumpkin and watermelon seeds, pistachios, and sugar-coated peanuts.[76]. Sahlab is a drinkable pudding once made of the powdered bulb of the orchid plant but today usually made with cornstarch. Take, for example, the humble Israeli schnitzel, a quintessential staple of Ashkenazi cuisine stuffed in a pita, and doused with Middle Eastern ingredients including hummus, tahini, and amba (a mango chutney sauce popularized by Iraqi Jews). It is the Jewish mother who dotes on her family and the cook in the army that brings his own ingredients from home because h… [1], Israeli cuisine has adopted, and continues to adapt, elements of various styles of diaspora Jewish cuisine, particularly the Mizrahi, Sephardic and Ashkenazi styles of cooking. Many fresh, high quality dairy products are available, such as cottage cheese, white cheeses, yogurts including leben and eshel, yellow cheeses, and salt-brined cheeses typical of the Mediterranean region. [82], Other hot sauces made from chili peppers and garlic are the Tunisian harissa, and the filfel chuma of the Libyan Jewish community in Israel. Elaborate meals were served that included piquant entrées and alcoholic drinks, fish, beef, meat, pickled and fresh vegetables, olives, and tart or sweet fruits. [101], Shawarma, (from çevirme, meaning "rotating" in Turkish) is usually made in Israel with turkey, with lamb fat added. Food in Israel 40. Israel is a relatively young state whose cooking tradition is still evolving. Today, most cooks buy schnitzel already breaded and serve it with hummus, tahina, and other salads for a quick main meal. [71], The Shabbat and festival breads of the Yemenite Jews have become popular in Israel and can be bought frozen in supermarkets. Falafel is most often served in a pita, with pickles, tahina, hummus, cut vegetable salad and often, harif, a hot sauce, the type used depending on the origin of the falafel maker. This means bread, pastries and certain fermented beverages, such as beer, cannot be consumed. [22], Israeli salad is typically made with finely chopped tomatoes and cucumbers dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. [24] Baba ghanoush, called salat ḥatzilim in Israel, is made with tahina and other seasonings such as garlic, lemon juice, onions, herbs and spices. Meat was scarce, and it was not until the late 1950s that herds of beef cattle were introduced into the agricultural economy.[9]. [119], Tu BiShvat is a minor Jewish holiday, usually sometime in late January or early February, that marks the "New Year of the Trees". [61] Various fruits are added to chicken or meat dishes and fresh fruit salad and compote are often served at the end of the meal. In 1983, the Golan Heights Winery was the first of many new Israeli winemakers to help transform tastes with their production of world-class, semi-dry and dry wines. [40], Lentil soup is prepared in many ways, with additions such as cilantro or meat. To celebrate this holiday, many types of dairy foods are eaten. [100] Israel's anomalous equanimity toward its religious dietary restrictions may be reflected by the fact that some of the Hebrew cookbooks of Yisrael Aharoni are published in two versions: kosher and non-kosher editions. [111], Steakiyot are meat grills selling sit down and take away chicken, turkey or lamb as steak, shishlik, kebab and even Jerusalem mixed grill, all in pita or in taboon bread.[112]. Khubeza, a local variety of the mallow plant, became an important food source during the War of Independence. [4], Israel's culinary traditions comprise foods and cooking methods that span three thousand years of history. Since the late 1970s, there has been an increased interest in international cuisine, cooking with wine and herbs, and vegetarianism. Shavuot marks the peak of the new grain harvest and the ripening of the first fruits, and is a time when milk was historically most abundant. Meat stews (chicken, lamb and beef) are cooked with spices, pine nuts herbs like parsley, mint and oregano, onion, tomato sauce or tahini or juices such as pomegranate molasses, pomegranate juice, pomegranate wine, grape wine, arak, date molasses and tamarind. As Israeli agriculture developed and new kinds of fruits and vegetables appeared on the market, cooks and chefs began to experiment and devise new dishes with them. During Passover, bread and other leavened foods are prohibited to observant Jews and matza and leaven-free foods are substituted. [10] The Jerusalem radio station, Kol Hamagen, broadcast instructions for cooking it that were picked up in Jordan convinced the Arabs that the Jews were dying of starvation and victory was at hand. A lot of Israelis keep fruit trees in their yards, citrus (especially orange and lemon) being the most common. Cookies made with crushed dates (ma'amoul) are served with coffee or tea, as throughout the Middle East. They are made of a flaky dough in a variety of shapes, frequently topped with sesame seeds, and are filled with meat, chickpeas, cheese, spinach, potatoes or mushrooms. Most of the wine produced and consumed from the 1880s was sweet, kosher wine when the Carmel Winery was established,[92] until the 1980s, when more dry or semi-dry wines began to be produced and consumed after the introduction of the Golan Heights Winery’s first vintage. After all the suffering experienced throughout centuries of statelessness, food has remained a rare constant, a way for Jews to express themselves and connect with their family and community. [11] In the past decade, food writers in Israel have encouraged the population to prepare khubeza on Israel Independence Day. Fruit is served as a snack or dessert alongside other items or by themselves. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the exile of the majority of Jews from the land of Israel, Jewish cuisine continued to develop in the many countries where Jewish communities have existed since Late Antiquity, influenced by the economics, agriculture, and culinary traditions of those countries. [74] It is also often served in restaurants as dessert, along with small cups of Turkish coffee. In the Jewish communities of the Old Yishuv, bread was baked at home. Many are made with organic milk. [55], Dairy farming has been a major sector of Israeli agriculture since the founding of the state, and the yield of local milk cows is amongst the highest in the world. [122] It is customary to eat a festive meal, seudat Purim, in the late afternoon, often with wine as the prominent beverage, in keeping with the atmosphere of merry-making. Real Estate Trends in Israel: Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Ra’anana. "Green" rice, prepared with a variety of fresh chopped herbs, is a favored by Persian Jews. Food represents the now, to life, to love, and to living in the moment. The region itself is, of course, strongly influenced by the food in surrounding countries, such as north African countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, as well as nearby Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. [9], The Israeli breakfast has always been largely healthy, by today's standards, and one book called the Israeli breakfast "the Jewish state's contribution to world cuisine". [64] It was originally a specialty of the Ashkenazi Jews of the Old Yishuv. Culture News Everything written about art, music and the celebration of holidays in Israel is published in culture news. Turkey schnitzel is an Israeli adaptation of veal schnitzel, and is an example of the transformations common in Israeli cooking. Avocados have since become a winter delicacy and are cut into salads as well as being spread on bread. Krembo is a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat sold only in the winter, and is a very popular alternative to ice cream. Bamba is a soft, peanut-flavored snack food that is a favorite of children, and Bissli is a crunchy snack made of deep-fried dry pasta, sold in various flavors, including BBQ, pizza, falafel and onion. Tel Aviv is particularly well known for its café culture.[86]. In addition to Israeli wines, an increasing number of wines are imported from France, Italy, Australia, the United States, Chile and Argentina.[91]. We’ve helped hundreds of American families live their dream. Tea with Rose water is also common. Food and national identity are tied together. Sambusak is a semi-circular pocket of dough filled with mashed chickpeas, fried onions and spices. The Meiri dairy also became famous for its production of the Balkan-style brinza cheese, which became known as Bulgarian cheese due to its popularity in the early 1950s among Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria. There are thousands of restaurants, casual eateries, cafés and bars in Israel, offering a wide array of choices in food and culinary styles. [4], Groups of Hasidic Jews from Eastern Europe began establishing communities in the late 18th century, and brought with them their traditional Ashkenazi cuisine, developing, however, distinct local variations, notably a peppery, caramelized noodle pudding known as kugel yerushalmi. Jewish customs also have an influence, so Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner, and to a lesser extent Shabbat lunch, are the main festive meals in Israeli homes. The two most popular Hannukah foods are potato pancakes, levivot, also known by the Yiddish latkes; and jelly doughnuts, known as sufganiyot in Hebrew, pontshkes (in Yiddish) or bimuelos (in Ladino), as these are deep-fried in oil. One of their events (which was our favorite event) was the food festival.Huskies for Israel members handed out free traditional Israeli food from Rami’s in Brookline. [38] Classic chicken soup is prepared as a simple broth with a few vegetables, such as onion, carrot and celery, and herbs such as dill and parsley. Couscous is used in salads, main courses and even some desserts. [125] The occasion is celebrated the following day by outdoor picnics at which salads and barbecued meat feature prominently. It is added to falafel and hummus and is also spread over fish, and to white cheese, eggs, salami or avocado sandwiches for extra heat and spice. It offers some of the freshest falafel pita sandwiches for under $2. But it was also strongly influenced by the Ashkenazi Jews who flocked to Israelin the 50s and 60s, people who brought with them an array of recipes from their Old World homes. Malt beer, known as black beer (בִירָה שְחוֹרָה, bira shḥora), is a non-alcoholic beverage produced in Israel since pre-state times. Because Israel is such a young country, modern Israeli food recipes are derived from generations of immigrants from six continents. 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