We Found the Next Super Fruit in Israel

·Managing Editor

The etrog has long been a sacred fruit in Jewish traditions. (Photo: AP)

Forget blueberries, pomegranate and acai. There’s a new super fruit in town and it has the bible backing it up….seriously.

I’d never heard of the etrog, a citrus fruit that resembles a chubby lemon, until I landed in Tel Aviv, specifically in Uzi-Eli’s juice shop at the entrance to the Carmel shuk (market).


The Etrog Man’s whole family works with him in the shop. Here his daughter prepares his super fruit concoction. (Photo: Jo Piazza)

Uzi-Eli a 70-year old gentleman who looks about twenty years younger, is a Yemeni born healer who landed in Israel decades ago.


Uzi-Eli balancing his etrogs. (Photo: Etrogman.com)

He claims his juices and herbal elixirs are based on the doctrine laid down by the Jewish Medieval Rabbi, scholar and philosopher, Moses Maimonides and that the sacred fruit is bestowed a place of honor in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. He goes by many titles, among them “juice man” and “spiritual guru.” But he lets people call him Uzi.

When I first walked into the funky little juice shop a beautiful woman, one of three of Uzi-Eli’s children and the only girl, behind the counter offered my very first sip of etrog juice.

If the juice will do anything to make me look like her, I’m in, I thought to myself.

A jittery man nearly shoved me out of the way to ask for his own green juice.


The shop sells powders, elixirs, lotions, soaps and tonics all crafted by the medicine man himself. (Photo: Jo Piazza)

“Excuse me!” I said with annoyance.

“I’m sorry,” he said politely. “I’m just addicted to this juice.” He didn’t look like an addict. he wore a suit and a pretentious bluetooth earpiece. I let him through. Who was I to get in the way of his fix.

Related: Why I Feel Safe as a Tourist in Tel Aviv

The etrog fruit resembles a giant lemon, but with a sexier shape. Indeed it is a good-looking fruit, just one of the reasons it is a symbol of fertility and beauty.

I take a slug of it. It was delicious, tart and sweet with a grassy aftertaste. Did I feel any different? Not really. Not yet at least.

Uzi-Eli will craft a “medicine” for you based on whatever ails you. First he asks you a series of questions about your symptoms, your sleeping patterns, your belly issues, your moods and your emotions. Sometimes he asks you to draw him a picture of how you feel…right then and there.

Related: Dance ‘Til Dawn and Eat Everything in Tel Aviv


You’ll find the Etrog Man right at the entrance to the famous Carmel Market. (Photo: Jo Piazza)


The etrog is believed to cure everything from fatigue to stress to tension to menopause. (Photo: Jo Piazza)

He claims his concoctions are good for curing chronic fatigue, pain, diabetes, stress, anxiety and infertility. They boost your immune system and can even help bring health and happiness. Some of them even make you look and feel younger. That’s what we call having it all.

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