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Make Ready for Independence Day 'Mangal!'

Less than 36 hours to go before the national parks are filled with grinning, grill-bearing crowds of Israelis heading for "mangal!"
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 4/15/2013, 4:45 AM

Chickens on sale at Jerusalem supermarket
Chickens on sale at Jerusalem supermarket
Flash 90

The first year in Israel, most new olim (immigrants) learn many new things. One of the most important is the tribal ritual of Mangal.

National park staff are bracing themselves for this event. Supermarkets have already been hit, with many grocery shelves nearly empty, as Israelis prepare to celebrate the nation's Independence Day -- with fire and a grill.

The “essentials” needed for appropriate observance of this holiday include:

1. Pechamim - charcoal
2. Lighter fluid
3. Hot dogs, ground beef, goulash meat, kebabs, steaks, and shnitzel (turkey or chicken, take your pick)
4. Spices – these are SECRET and special to the mangalist*
5. Vegetables that can be cut up for quick roasting (be creative!)
6. “Salatim” - these include the ubiquitous triumvirate (hummus, tehina and hatzilim (eggplant) of any type), followed by anything else one’s heart desires. 
7. Potatoes (for roasting)
8. Marshmallows (for roasting) 

Americans often include potato salad – gourmets indulge their fancies in creative concoctions, often without mayonnaise, or with mayonnaise made at home in the blender with olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Fresh-chopped cilantro can be added of course. Moroccan Jews can be found with spicy cooked carrot salad, made with roasted red peppers and garlic, both of which sweeten up after it is roasted.  Every ethnicity has its favorite – and sometimes more.

*Barbecue in Israel is called “mangal” or “al ha’esh” and the expert in the art is called a “mangalist.” 

Although the word "mangal" is also used in Turkey, not one Israeli interviewed by Arutz Sheva was able to explain its source.

But nearly every decent gas station in the country makes sure to sell equipment for the mangalist, especially starting at Passover and going straight through the summer until after the High Holidays.

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are expected to take to the roads this holiday season to hunt down a favorite spot to park their mangal (grill) and light up to create the delectable dish of their friends’ and family’s dreams.

Authorities remind readers: don't forget when the fun is over: be sure to put the fire completely out.  Happy Independence Day!