Netanya’s Out and About

| December 27, 2012 | 0 Comments
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Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedSarina Chocolates - Mosaic at Entrance to Visitor's Center

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Sarina Chocolates – Mosaic at Entrance to Visitor’s Center

Most people like chocolate, and at Sarina Chocolates in Ein Vered, just a short distance from Netanya, you can enjoy it at whatever level you prefer.  Options include touring the Visitors’ Center and buying some gift -boxed chocolates or chocolate related presents. You can also see a film about chocolate and visit the hothouse where Limor Drucker, the lady behind Sarina Chocolates, is growing her own cocoa beans in a special climate controlled environment.

Yummy Chocolate Tasting

For those who think preparation is half the fun, take time to watch a demonstration of chocolate preparation and enjoy a delicious tasting. If you think you would enjoy a hands-on experience, join a workshop.  Even though you don’t actually make your own chocolate, you’ll be able to form truffle balls and decorate them with a variety of toppings, pour the liquid chocolate into molds and dip various candies, cookies etc. into chocolate. At the end of a workshop, you’ll have your handiwork gift wrapped and receive some recipes.

At the entrance to the Visitors’ Center, there is a beautiful mosaic, custom-designed to show Drucker’s international travels and background. Her parents are Syrian; she was born in the Congo and lived in South Africa and Germany before settling in Israel. She studied to be a chocolatier in Belgium and France.

Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedSarina Chocolates - Growing Cocoa Trees

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Sarina Chocolates – Growing Cocoa Trees

Cocoa Tree

The cocoa bean venture is a first in Israel, and when the Agricultural Ministry heard that Drucker was trying to cultivate the cocoa tree, a grant was awarded to help her. The grant is intended for educational purposes, so children can visit her hothouse and learn about the whole chocolate-making process, from planted bean to yummy product.

As such, the process now remains largely an educational endeavor, as Drucker realizes that the trees are unlikely to bear fruit with the less than optimal growing conditions in Israel. Even if Drucker does manage to grow cocoa beans they will, in all probability, not be of good enough quality to make chocolate and certainly the quantity would be too small to be of any practical commercial use.  In the meantime, Sarina Chocolates imports its chocolate, which has a certificate of kashrut, from Europe.

Their website is only in Hebrew at the moment, but Drucker does give workshops in English if requested in advance. So, if you want to take a chocolate break, and enjoy a visit or join a workshop, call this number to book your visit 077-525-5370.  Sarina Chocolates is closed on Saturdays and Jewish Festivals.

THE PARROT FARM – KFAR HESS

As you know parrots, repeat what they hear, but it’s still a surprise to hear a Hebrew-speaking brightly colored parrot saying Shalom and chatting to Uri, the owner of the Parrot Farm in Kfar Hess, a village just outside Netanya.

All the parrots here are born and bred on the farm, and being bottle / syringe fed from birth, they are used to being cared for by humans, and love visitors. The birds are not camera-shy and will happily pose with you and sit on your shoulder, so you can get some cute photos.

Ann Goldberg  All rights reservedParrot Farm Kfar Hess

Ann Goldberg  All rights reserved
Parrot Farm Kfar Hess

This is a small, family operated, low-tech farm and the owner is usually on-hand to talk to visitors and encourage them, young and old, to feed the parrots. In one corner, there are a series of incubators where you can see the tiny birds just after they are hatched.

A film will explain to you the differences between the many species of parrots and you’ll also be able to enjoy the petting zoo, which houses a peacock, donkey and a goat, as well as many other birds. There’s also a picnic area, a play area, and arts and crafts are available for young children.

DID  YOU KNOW?

  • You shouldn’t throw out chocolate just because it’s lost it’s sheen; this is a common problem due to Israel’s hot climate. You can eat it as is, or ask Drucker to explain how to return its veneer.
  • Parrots have a very long lifespan – up to 100 years. Bear that in mind if your children ever persuade you to  buy one as a pet!
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Category: Birding, Food, Netanya

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