Delve deeper into iconic Star Wars foods.
The new Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series premiered on Disney Plus on May 27, 2022. With much fanfare and excitement for the new show, I wanted to dive into some of the most iconic foods from the Star Wars movies and the expanded universe and focus on connecting with some of my favorite Jewish and Israeli foods.
How can anyone forget the crude scene in The Last Jedi where Luke Skywalker drank fresh green milk straight from the source, from the Thala-Sirens.
If you weren’t able to catch a Thala Mermaid to refresh it, don’t worry. During the war between the First Order and the Resistance, green milk was imported to the Bubo Wamba family farms on the planet Batuu for people to drink.
Mark Hamill later revealed that the liquid was actually coconut milk that had been color graded in post-production. So he never had the chance to try the real thing.
Luckily for him and many other Star Wars fans, Sacleb, a Middle Eastern milk pudding, is an equally thick drink traditionally made from ground orchid bulbs, milk and rose water and is often topped with pistachios, cinnamon and other nuts to give it a slightly green hue.
Considered to have originated in the Middle East and Turkey in the Middle Ages, Sacleb was such a popular drink that orchids nearly disappeared from lands under Ottoman control.
You can make it yourself using cornstarch and this recipe.
When Yoda brought Luke some homemade root leaf stew before his first Jedi lesson, I’m sure many of us were interested in how we could get our hands on a bowl. Crafted from “yarum seeds, mushroom spores, galla seeds and sohli bark” that Yoda collected from the swampy area near his humble home in Dagobah, you might find it a bit difficult to recover by yourself.
New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne created his own version with lamb, ginger and chili peppers.
When I think of hearty stews that can fill my Jedi belly, I suggest grabbing a bowl of hot Sephardic Hamin, a nighttime stew typically served on Shabbat. Hamin, with beef or lamb (but easily omitted for vegetarians), chickpeas, rice, beans and LOTS of spices simmers slowly for several hours until the meat becomes tender and delicious and all the flavors blend together.
Get Hamin’s recipe here.
Dex’s Dinner Sandwich
Dex’s Diner is a memorable location in Attack of the Clones mainly because it was a change of scenery from all the high-society brilliance of the planet Coruscant. Obi-Wan Kenobi went there for some street level information, but refused to try their Shawda Club Sandwich. Which, on the face of it, is a thick, two-layered steak sandwich so big it would be impossible to eat without a fork and knife (or lightsaber).
Most Jews are no strangers to huge mountains of meat piled on bread. The Jewish Deli sandwich is the epitome of Jewish food pioneered by legendary New York delis like Katz’s and New York’s 2nd Ave Deli.
With two- and three-decker options like Pastrami, Corned Beef, Roast Beef and more, it’s not hard to see why this delicious sandwich has made its way to a galaxy far, far away. Let’s hope there’s a cardiologist on Coruscant.
Get the recipe to make your own deli sandwich, a Rubenesque!
The Canteen Special
Few places are as magical as the Mos Eisly Cantina shown in “Star Wars: A New Hope.”
Who could forget when Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first met Han Solo and his adorable partner Wookie Chewbacca.
According to a short story from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, we learn that after Sol shot and killed bounty hunter Greedo, the Cantina bartender took the Rodian’s corpse and used it to infuse liquor.
Now, we may not know of any infused liquor from Greedo. But Gat is awfully close.
Gat or khat juice is a banned drink in the US and UK. However, it is legal in Israel where it is easy to find both the chewy leaves and the pungent juice.
Known for its green color and powerful stimulant effects to increase alertness and euphoria, Gat has been compared to cocaine.
Chewing gat leaves is an age-old custom. It was introduced to Israel by Yemeni Jews who immigrated en masse in 1949 and 1950, bringing with them the tradition of chewing Gat leaves. Uzi-Eli, the Etrogman (pictured above), popularized his EtroGat juice in Jerusalem’s Machaneh Yehudah market.
Gat is often “juiced” to create the popular drink found throughout Israel.
So if you’re out of Greedo-Liqeur, buzz Gat.