Chickens on sale at Jerusalem supermarket
Chickens on sale at Jerusalem supermarket Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Passover shopping season has one day to go, and retailers said that this year, record demand was set for chicken and turkey in Israel's markets. Israelis this year bought some 50,000 tons of chicken and 7,500 tons of turkey for Passover – and that doesn't include the meat that will be sold Thursday, the day before Passover Eve which is traditionally the heaviest food shopping day in Israel all year.

Fish is also a big favorite of Israelis this time of year. On average, an Israeli eats 800 grams of fish all year, but during the month of Passover, that number shoots up to 1.4 kilos (about 3.25 pounds). Carp – for gefilte fish making – is the most popular “cut” of fish, with sales of that product doubling during the weeks before the holiday.

Israelis, the Central Bureau of Statistics said, are not big fish eaters, with the average Israeli consuming just 20 kilos (44 pounds) of fish a year. That's less than even the U.S., where residents eat 24 kilos of fish a year – and far less than most countries on the Mediterranean Sea, where the averages are between 40 and 60 kilos of fish consumption a year.

According to industry experts, however, the reason for the low Israeli marks in fish consumption is because the vast majority of Israelis do not consume shellfish, which is not kosher.