Bakery review: Tufiney vs. Neeman

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by — Posted in Israel, Travelogue

With the Feast of Trumpets and Rosh HaShanah (New Year) starting at sundown last Wednesday, shops began to close at midday. Most would remain closed until Sunday morning as the two-day new year holiday ran right into shabbat. People stocked up pantries and refrigerators and stayed in.

Well, Sunday morning, I got up and headed out to having breakfast with God at a cafe now that the streets were bustling with buses and more and most of the businesses were open. My favorite place to do this breakfast-with-the-Word outing is Neeman Bakery and Cafe on Emek Refaim in German Colony. They were busy, their tables all full. Thought of about just taking it to go, but I couldn’t think of a good place with a table to eat and write. I kept walking.

Tufiney bakery was just setting up shop last time I was in Jerusalem. It is across the street from Burgers Bar, which I reviewed TWO years ago (man, may be time for an update). Tufiney advertises 2 pastries and a tall coffee for 14 shekels (about $4 at writing). It was pricier than what Neeman is now charging (15 shekels for 3 pastries and a large coffee).

I decided to grab one savory pastry and one sweet: a potato turnover, probably my favorite of the savories, and a cream cheese danish/turnover thingy (wish I’d thought to take a photo before eating, but I was hungry and otherwise preoccupied).

The tall coffee isn’t so large. It’s shorter than Neeman’s large. The potato filling was tasty but the pastry was dense, heavy. I like a tasty bread and am usually not picky on density, but this was thick. And not like the flaky turnovers from Neeman. The cheese turnover was sweet, as expected, but had a strange flavor, almost of alcohol. Let’s hope it was a special ingredient.

Jerusalem is filled with sparrows (which always remind me of the Father’s provision), and there were a few hanging around the cafe tables waiting for crumbs. Sorry, birdies. These pastries were not flaky enough. Better head back to Neeman where there are crumbs and seeds everywhere. Very flaky.

‘Baking handsome’

A bit of trivia about Tufiney. Their website is in Hebrew, but I was able to get a little info via Google Translate. Here’s my version as I understand it:

Barack Makhlouf and Oren Ailok were considering opening a bakery. They were chatting about it on a Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the weekly Torah portion was “Tzav” which means “give an order” and begins in Leviticus 6. In verse 21 (14 in the Hebrew Bible) it says (concerning Aaron’s grain offering): It shall be prepared with oil on a griddle. When it is well stirred, you shall bring it. You shall present the grain offering in baked pieces as a soothing aroma to the LORD.

Where in English it says “in baked pieces,” the Hebrew word is tufiney. Now, the website says tufiney means “baking handsome” or rather “handsomely baked”. I looked the word up in a Hebrew Bible dictionary. It’s the only time the word is used in Scripture and scholars say it is a “difficult” passage. But the rabbi seemed to know what it means.

Anyhow, the name of the shop would be translated, according to the website, “handsomely baked.” Better than crumby baked, which is nearly what the King James says. πŸ˜‰

4 thoughts on “Bakery review: Tufiney vs. Neeman

  1. You can really place the reader at your side. I can taste the pastry and the coffee. (the coffee much stronger than I’m used to)
    –Which I could visit Israel while you are there.- Maybe next year.
    Love U !

    1. Aww. Thanks. Thanks for reading. Yes, the coffee is strong, but probably not much different from Spain. Was a cafe con leche, really.

      All believers in Yeshua, like the Jews, should pray: ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ especially as we await our King. Shalom.

  2. Si ~ *smells the coffee*. Love that you have breakfast or coffee with Abba. Maybe one day I shall be able to sit in a Coffee Shop and just sit and enjoy something with Abba…..but for now….I’m the one cooking those pastries. πŸ˜›

    I think you should return to Neeman. The pastries sound good there, although your picture is very appetising.

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