It's not soup without shkedei marak!

At least, that's what my husband believes. It doesn't matter what kind of soup I make-- pumpkin curry, for example-- he fills his soup with shkedei marak, which literally translates as "soup almonds." These cruchy, salty crutons are essentially osem soup powder in tiny cracker form.

I'm more and more convinced that the picture on our bag of shkedei marak above is not of a bowl of shkedei marak alone but rather of soup WITH shkedei marak, because the fact is that to many Israelis (especially those under 12, but who's counting?) the correct proportion of shkedei marak to soup is about 2:1-- two parts shkedei marak, one part soup. If it's possible to see the broth, you need more shkedei marak!

In fact, just yesterday my husband's aunt was talking about how (in the 60s) she used to eat shkedei marak by the handful-- her father ran a little grocery story (a macolet) and for some reason that meant shkedei marak were more plentiful than bisli. In fact, even though more Americans know of bisli's existence than of shkedei marak, I think shkedei marak are the true Israeli snack.

Why am I posting such a chametz-ish post right before passover? Because we recently discovered that Israeli grocery stores stock kosher for passover shkedei marak! Ok, so the kosher-for-pesach version tastes like potato chips and splinters (rather than crunches) in your mouth. I don't care. I love this country! And now I know my husband will eat my matzo ball soup... :)


Check out the new Heveil Heveilim! I love how easy it is to read this time!


  1. I would like to state for the record that Matza-ball soup is probably the only soup that I eat without Shkedai Marak. Sometimes, anyway. ;>

  2. I also eat them by the handful when that old salt craving comes. But now that you tell me that shkedai marak are basically Osem soup powder . . . eeuww!
    Chag sameach to you all. Love your blog.

  3. yeah, I know. Read the ingredients for kosher-for-pesach shkedei marak and then kosher-for-pesach soup powder, and you'll see the similarities! Maybe the non-kosher-for-pesach version is better, though... I threw out the bag! Let's pretend that it's all-natural wholesome goodness.

  4. Maya,

    Out of curiousity, I googled the Osem web site and found this entry (in the English-language version) under Mini Croutons [soup almonds]:

    "Osem’s Mini Croutons are part and parcel of any Israeli Soup. Sometimes the soup is just an excuse for Osem Mini Croutons!"

    Hmm, does your husband write copy for their marketing department?

  5. haha... maybe he does! But seriously, every Israeli eats shkedei marak. You can find them in kosher grocery stores in the US! I'm surprised nothing like that ever caught on in America.

  6. OMG this is so true. I was born in Israel and raised in NJ and my chicken soup is just an excuse to float a boatload of shkedei marak! BTW you can find in the US not just in kosher stores, but small Russian grocery stores as well. Also, I just discovered and started reading your blog and it's awesome! I spent a semester in Israel in college..and observed and thought much of what you describe here..especially for the Memorial Day and Independence day festivities!

  7. You are hilarious :-D

    Lifaameem, hamarak hoo rak terutz! :-D

    Another shekedey-marak-addicted person :-D

  8. Fell in love with your blog.

  9. Well, the non kosher for Pesach shkedei marak is definitely not pressed soup powder, it doesn't even come close to being the same and well, why wouldn't soup just be an excuse for eating shkedei marak. Sadly in the Netherlands where we live it's fairly hard to get shkedei marak, not to mention how expensive it is here. I have yet to convince my mother and boyfriend that the correct shkedei to soup ratio is approximately 1,5:1 but then again, that leaves more for my dad and I. :D


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