Traditions are wonderful and very important. We have personal and family traditions, religious traditions and country traditions.
Israel is no exception. Come October, the chagim [Jewish holidays] are all over and life is getting back to a regular schedule with no more mid week days.
Starting in November, we pray for an abundance of rain in Eretz Yisrael and on the grocery store shelves everywhere in Israel, a tradition is happening. Colored boxes of 10, 12 or more Krembos are appearing.
If you are not from Israel, I’m sure you are asking yourself, “What is a Krembo?”
Krembos are a very popular winter treat. It comes wrapped in a colourful aluminum wrapping. Krembos have a round cookie base on the bottom and marshmallow cream on top, coated with a thin layer of chocolate. Krembos also come in vanilla and mocha flavour.
The "krembo season" is very short, from October / November to February. More than fifty million krembos are sold each year. Krembos are a part of winter as ice-cream is a part of summer.
According to a study funded by Strauss, Israel's leading krembo producer, 69% of Israelis prefer to eat krembos from the top down (starting with the cream), and only 10% start with the biscuit at the bottom; the rest had no preference.
In the Hebrew version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the character Dumbledore’s favorite sweet is a Krembo, rather than a sherbet lemon. The Krembo has become a national icon. While considered a children's favorite, researchers have found that it is eaten and enjoyed as a comfort food of Israeli expatriates in the United States.
Krembos are so popular that they have their own Facebook page. KREMBO
And within the next day or so another tradition will be making an appearance to let us know that Chanukah is not far away.
This year, Chanukah begins on December 16th, and Jews observe the custom of eating foods fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of the Temple Oil lasting 8 days when there was only enough oil for 1 day.
In Israel, the tradition is to eat, sufganiyot [doughnuts.] Sufganiyot are sold from November up to and including the 8 days of Chanukah. The most popular doughnuts are the ones filled with strawberry jelly and have powder sugar on top.
Bakeries and grocery stores sell sufganiyot individually and by the box, and they have become a favorite for school and office parties. One of the largest bakeries in Israel, fries up more than 250,000 sufganiyot every day during the eight-day Chanukah festival. Each batch uses 100 kilograms of dough and makes 1,600 sufganiyot. That’s a lot of doughnuts!
There are many homemade doughnut recipes. If you want to try your hand at making sufganiyot at home, just Google ‘sufganiyot recipes’ and dozens of recipes will open.
So whether you fancy krembos or sufganiyot, or both, relax and enjoy the sweet taste.
That’s all for now. Feel free to comment and share.