Krembo

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Foiled-wrapped Krembo, mocha and vanilla flavors
Boy eating Krembo

Krembo (Hebrew: קרמבו‎, a contraction meaning literally "Cream-in-it") is the name of a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat that is popular in Israel. "Krembo whipped snack" consists of a round biscuit base (17% of total weight), topped with fluffy marshmallow creme-like foam (53%), coated in a thin layer of cemacao (dairy-free, sweet baking chocolate, about 30% of total) and wrapped in colourful, thin aluminum foil.[1]

History[edit]

European chocolate-coated marshmallow treats were popular as homemade sweets in Mandate Palestine, when it was known as Kushi (Hebrew כושי, "negro") and Rosh Kushi (Hebrew language: ראש כושי "negro's head") This name was borrowed from the names then used in Europe. The first manufacturer, the Whitman Company, coined the name Krembo. In Hebrew, the word krembo is a combination of krem (cream) and bo (in it). A mocha flavour was introduced in 1967. In 1979 Whitman was acquired by Strauss-Elite which has the major part of the krembo market in Israel. [2] During the 1980s and 1990s smaller manufacturers introduced additional flavours such as banana and strawberry but failed to achieve a significant market share.

Krembos are a seasonal treat sold only four months a year, from October to February.[3] Nevertheless, 50 million krembos are sold each year—an average of 9 per person.[4]

In 2005, Strauss signed an agreement with Unilever to export ice cream and krembos to the United States and Canada due to a demand for products of this type with strict kosher certification. Under terms of the agreement, they may be sold only in kosher supermarkets and import shops. The distributor in North America is Dairy Delight, a subsidiary of Norman's Dairy.[5] In 2007, Nestlé introduced an ice cream variation of krembo called Lekbo (Hebrew: לקבו, "lick inside").

Nutritional information[edit]

The average krembo weighs 25 grams (0.882 ounces) and has 115 calories.[4] According to the fine print on packing foil, per 100 gr of krembo there are 419 calories, 3.2 gr protein, 64 gr carbohydrates (of which 54 gr are sugars); 16.7% Fats (of which 13.9% are poly-saturated fatty acids, less than 0.5% are trans fatty acids) and 67 mg Sodium.[6]

According to Halacha[edit]

Under kashrut, the dietary rules of Jewish law or (Halacha), some orthodox rabbis find significance to the order in which one eats a Krembo. The blessing over the biscuit is boreh miney mezonot, whereas the blessing over the cream and chocolate is shehakol nihiyya bidvaro. According to halacha, when eating a dish of mixed components, one need pronounce only the blessing over the main components, thus for a chocolate croissant one would say the blessing over the dough, and skip the blessing over the chocolate. But in the case of the Krembo, there is no consensus as to which is the "main" component: the biscuit, or the cream and chocolate. One solution is to bless over each component separately.

In popular culture[edit]

Israeli rock band Kaveret's hit song "Shir HaMakolet" ("The Grocery Store Song") mentions a character buying Krembo.

In the Hebrew version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, translator Gili Bar-Hillel translated Dumbledore's favourite sweet as a Krembo, instead of a sherbet lemon.[7]

Alon 'Krembo' Sagiv is a fictional character in the Israeli cult film Mivtza Savta, as a child on a kibbutz he once stole an entire case of Krembos and locked himself in his room. With the entire kibbutz waiting for him outside he had to dispose of the evidence and ate the entire case, earning himself his much-loathed nickname.

Although considered a children's treat, sociologists have found that it is consumed as a comfort food by Israeli expatriates in the United States, evoking nostalgia for their childhood.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strauss Krembo foil package, printed data, February 15, 2014.
  2. ^ "Krembo". cooksinfo.com. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Chestnuts roasting in my gelato
  4. ^ a b "10 Things you don't know about a krembo" (in Hebrew). Yedioth Ahronoth. 2003-11-07. Retrieved 2007-01-20. 
  5. ^ "New Israeli Development: Ice Cream Krembo" (in Hebrew). Ynet. February 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-07. 
  6. ^ Strauss Krembo foil package, printed data, February 15, 2014.
  7. ^ When Harry’ met Hebrew, Cleveland Jewish News, Sarah Bronson, October 18, 2007
  8. ^ Abramovitch, Ilana; Galvin, Sean. Jews of Brooklyn. Brandeis University Press. p. 55. ISBN 1-58465-003-6. Retrieved 15 February 2014.