Israeli Treat Taste Test

Several weeks ago, I asked my 9-year old what she wanted for Hanukkah. I was surprised that one of her requests was “treats from around the world.” What a wonderful and different response than the one I thought I would receive. But wait, from where and what exactly? Lucy knew exactly what she wanted – treats from Canada, Mexico, and Israel. I guess I now know where to take her when the world gets back to normal; Winnipeg is a quick 7-hour drive, right?

One of Lucy’s favorite things right now is Tik Tok and I always look forward to hearing about the world through short videos made by strangers. One of Lucy’s other gifts was a kit so her Tik Toks would look and sound even better. And then it hit me – let’s make a Tik Tok that was also an unboxing that was also a review of these treats from around the world. Ok, this is TC Jewfolk – I know. So bye bye maple cream from Canada and bag of assorted Mexican candy. We’ll focus on treats from Israel and all of the things you can do with sesame seeds.

I’m fairly certain I’ve written about my Grandma here, but I may have not shared her philosophy on Israeli goods. My Grandma sold Israeli bonds for decades and for many years, she visited frequently. She loved Israel as if the entire country was her third child. Anything Israel produced was THE BEST! When I was a kid in Queens, she would take me to the fruit store – which was literally, a storefront that only sold produce. It was at the fruit store with my Grandma that I first had kiwifruit, prickly pear, papaya, starfruit, pomegranates, and her beloved Israeli persimmons. These were the best persimmons and the only ones I should ever buy. All others pale in comparison my Grandma would say. When my Grandma would come back from a trip to Israel she would regale about the oranges and the tomatoes and the melons too – but they hadn’t yet made their way to the fruit store on Union Turnpike. The persimmons though…

I am now 45 years old and I have been to Israel – but just once (so far). And I can tell you that I too regale on all things Israeli – everything from the chances of Team Israel to medal in the next Olympics to the fact that cherry tomatoes were first invented in the Holy Land. I have come to love my wife’s Sodastream. And I’m even thinking about investing in a Deni Avdija jersey. Grandma would certainly be proud.

So I headed over to The Kosher Spot in St. Louis Park to look through their Israeli options. I landed on a few candy bars, a halva variety pack, and a big tub of Elite chocolate spread. The latter was something my Grandma would often bring back for us. I remember several times showing up to school with a chocolate sandwich and confusing some of my friends. I’m not the biggest fan of Nutella, but it’s usually the closest thing to those chocolate sandwiches I remember so fondly. I was extremely excited to find it and bring it home to my kids.

The video you see isn’t for Tik Tok – it’s way too long of course. But in it, we try all of the treats and give our honest take. The chocolate spread was definitely a hit and it might have to be a semi-regular treat. The halva – I like it and always have, but I understand that most kids find the texture a bit strange. And the candy bars were gobbled up as expected.

This was a fun diversion and I highly recommend it to parents everywhere. To me, trying new foods is the best part of traveling and often times the easiest way into another culture. Within the Twin Cities, there are plenty of ethnic markets and stores – Asian, Mexican, Norwegian, Italian, Middle Eastern to name a few. Support these small businesses and teach your kids about the world through food. Everyone wins.

Enjoy our little video and go get yourself some chocolate spread.