How do you know it’s November in Israel? When Krembo is back on grocery shelves.
Like a seasonal fruit (but a whole lot less nutritious), the chocolate-coated cream treat is available for a limited time, from October to February.
Supposedly, that’s because Krembo, introduced in the 1960s, cannot survive the spring and summer heat, and because in the winter people want a creamy dessert that’s not ice cold.
We suspect it’s more of a marketing ploy, and a successful one at that. The start of “Krembo season” never fails to create a buzz.
Maybe one reason Krembo is such a favorite Israeli snack food is that we have to wait for it.
The name of the treat means “cream in it.” Krembo, made by Unilever-owned Strauss Ice Cream, is constructed of a plain round cookie topped with a huge dollop of vanilla or mocha marshmallow fluff and coated in a thin layer of chocolate.
Off-brand versions include Kefbo, Manbo and Tenbo, but everyone calls them Krembo no matter what the package says.
Once upon a time, each Krembo was hand-wrapped in foil. In 2018, Unilever/Strauss discontinued individual wrapping in the eight-unit packages to save 13 tons of aluminum foil annually.
So they’ve gotten a little greener– and a little more expensive, too, since Unilever announced a price hike effective October 2.
How to eat a Krembo
And now here’s the critical part of our story: How do you eat a Krembo?
According to this Wikipedia page in Hebrew, there are seven plans of attack:
- Hold the Krembo by the cookie base and eat top down, the method preferred by most.
- Twist off the cookie and eat it before the sugary fluff and chocolate shell.
- Eat the cookie and the chocolate shell together (frankly, we’re not sure how that works).
- Pick off the chocolate coating and eat it first.
- Squash the Krembo so that you can bite into the cream and the cookie together (assuming the fluff hasn’t plopped onto your shoes).
- Eat the cookie first and then spoon out the cream, finishing off with the chocolate shell.
- Puncture the shell to get at the cream, then eat the chocolate coating and finally the cookie base.
The other hot debate is at what temperature to devour a Krembo: frozen, refrigerated, or warm and gooey after briefly zapping in the microwave.
You can get around the geographic and seasonal restrictions on Krembo availability by making it yourself. Lots of DIY recipes are available online, including – of course – a raw food/vegan version.