I don't think our overview of Israeli food would be complete without a page dedicated to the country's most popular snacks and candy. After all, Israelis love to snack out, and you will see these all over the country - whether it's at home, in the park or on the beach.
So, for your enjoyment, here's our top 5 Israeli snacks and candy...
La la la la la Bamba! What a great song - and an awesome snack. Seriously!
Bamba is by far the best selling snack in Israel. Actually, it has been for over 40 years, with virtually no change in taste over that entire time. And its unmistakable orange packaging can still be found in stores and kitchen cabinets throughout the country.
What is it like?
Basically the snack itself is a puffed up corn and peanut butter chip (it looks kind of like a cheese puff). But it has a unique taste that is really hard to imitate - an amazing peanutty flavour that will quickly get you addicted.
Unlike other snacks, Bamba is pretty natural – it only contains: peanuts, corn, vegetable oil and salt. Kids and babies in particular love it, and I think you would too.
By the way Bamba is exported to several countries including the U.S. (I saw and bought it at a Ralph’s supermarket in California).
But don't assume your local supermarket (not to mention state or country) will have it in stock, so while you're visiting Israel make a point to visit a local store, buy some Bamba and try it out.
These seeds, known in Hebrew as Garinim Shorim (black seeds), are everywhere and are a strong competitor to matkot (beach bats) over the national sport title.
You can see – and hear – Israelis cracking away at these seeds at the beach, in front of the TV, or in a football (soccer) match. Sometimes it is annoying and frankly it does look strange – but it is a much better habit than smoking!
Sometimes you can even find the remains of them at parks or beaches -- a small pile of these shells is the clearest sign that a bunch of happy Israelis were recently there.
Once you start cracking away at the seeds you will be hooked as well. They taste best after being roasted and salted properly.
So next time you visit Israel take a crack at some sunflower seeds – one of the best Israeli snacks – you will find them at every kiosk in every city.
Say hello to Krembo - Israel's favorite ice cream.
The meaning of this ice cream is simply the two Hebrew words cream (krem) and inside (bo) combined. And the name sure does fit the product: cream that is coated in chocolate and sits on a round little biscuit.
For some reason (probably the amount of sugar) it tastes so good that I can eat 3-4 of those krembos back-to-back easily.
It comes both in a vanilla and mocha flavor cream, but the vanilla is far more popular.
One thing to note is that surprisingly you won't find this snack during summer time – it is only available during winter in Israel.
I guess a few decades ago the best marketing idea for a chocolate was to put a picture of a cow on the wrapper. Not very original. However, somehow the idea worked, and today you can hardly find an Israeli who isn’t familiar with this product.
Although there's nothing particularly fancy about this chocolate, it is actually pretty darn tasty.
Besides the traditional milk flavor you can also find it in a few other flavors – dark chocolate, almonds, etc.
So look out for it at supermarkets across the country and give it a taste.
During my military service in Israel my diet included a fair amount of this low-nutrient – yet tasty – Mekupelet.
This is a unique form of chocolate bar that looks wrinkled. The name itself, Mekupelet, actually means "folded." It is this unique texture that probably makes the chocolate so popular.
So there you have it - the best Israeli snacks and candy, and our personal top five. We are sure these will satisfy your sweet (and salty) tooth.
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