Last night I was introduced to the ‘Crembo’….Israel’s winter ice cream substitute and considered to be ‘the best thing ever’ by all sweet toothed Israelis. The Crembo is a thin biscuit base, with a dome of unctuous, sweet, vanilla flavoured cream, with an almost Italian meringue consistency, smothered in rich dairy free milk chocolate and wrapped in foil. It is dairy free and therefore can be eaten after a meat meal. They are exported to the United States to mostly Kosher shops. Being a nation of coffee lovers, the Crembo can too be found in a coffee flavoured cream middle, but it is the vanilla flavoured confection that is still the favourite. Crembo is only found in the shops after the heat of the summer and as autumn begins. It is eaten only in the winter months, usually from October to February when is disappears from the shelves, to make way for ‘real’ ice cream. Once tasted, there is no going back from the national winter dessert….’The Crembo’
Tu Ba’av, celebrated on 15th Av, is both a traditional and modern celebration of love. In the time of the second temple, this day was a day of ‘matchmaking’ for unmarried women and today in Israel is it the ‘day of love’ likening itself to Valentine’s Day in England. Foods that we most associate with love are rich and unctuous, namely chocolate, honey and figs and there are many ways of serving these aphrodisiac’s on a plate, to show that food can be attractive to the eye and to the palate. The red and pink hearts are out in force in Israel today and menus in restaurants will reflect the mood of love, so whether it is a romantic meal, coffee and chocolate cake or just flowers and delicious chocolates…tantalise the taste buds with the food of love….