The Scoop On: Uri Buri and His Ice Cream, Israel


[Photographs: Erin Zimmer]

Uri Buri is known more for seafood than ice cream around Israel. His restaurant in the Mediterranean-facing town of Acre called Uri Buri (because why would you name your restaurant anything but Uri Buri when you're blessed with such a name?) has been around since 1989.


But the man also loves ice cream. He's been making it from scratch for years at the restaurant, and in 2011, he opened his own ice cream parlor called Endomela up the street.


Most all of the flavors are native to Israel. "I hardly get any ingredients from outside the country," Buri said while scooping. Apricot, halvah, and arak, the anise-flavored spirit, are some standards. "In a month's time we won't have that apricot anymore," he said about the seasonality.


One of my favorites was this tart yogurt flavor with lime and poppyseeds. The wee seeds dotted the whole scoop, which was tangy and refreshing yet still dairy-rich.

Over at his restaurant, which is located in an over 400-year-old Ottoman-era stone building, Buri experiments with savory flavors to pair with fish, like a wasabi sorbet that rests on buttery slices of smoked salmon. Even if you're not a fan of savory sorbets, the wasabi actually worked. The spicy bite of the cooling sorbet melted into the fish, complementing it instead of overwhelming it, like a dab of strong wasabi would for a piece of sashimi.

If you find yourself in Acre, Israel, look for Uri Buri. Odds are he'll be around, catching fish or scooping ice cream. Just look for his Gandalfian beard. "Oh this? Sorry, I forgot to shave today." (Oh, Uri.)

Note: Erin traveled through Israel on a 7-day eating tour thanks to Kinetis. She'll be writing all about her adventures—the food she ate (hummus; lots and lots of hummus) and the people she met—over the next few weeks.