Most Americans associate Israeli food with falofel or shwarma, but the Krembo is just as iconic and unique to Israel. In fact, it has its own Wikipedia page. My husband has a theory that the Krembo grew out of the fact that Israelis traditionally do not eat ice cream in the winter-- in fact, you used to not even be able to find ice cream in grocery stores in the winter. Krembos, on the other hand, are very delicate and melt in the summer heat, so they are the Israeli winter junk food... and they're soo good.
Although I have a sweet tooth, I didn't like the American junk foods like twinkies or hostess cupcakes that are JUST sweet and fatty with no taste or texture. But Krembos taste light and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the mocha-flavored varieties are luscious. The base of a Krembo is a pretty tasteless round cookie, topped with a dollop of cream, and then covered in a thin layer of chocolate. (Here's a youtube video in Hebrew showing how they're made... they actually have to be wrapped by hand!) The "cream" isn't really cream-- my husband thinks it's made from egg whites, though it tastes something like a cross between marshmallow fluff and miracle whip. Then, of course, there's the foil wrapper, which my husband insists on smoothing out until every wrinkle is gone (another tradition from his childhood).
As the Wikipedia page attests, the most important question when you eat Krembos is whether you go from the cream side down or the cookie side up. From the Wikipedia page:
In Israel, the krembos are a seasonal treat and the "krembo season" is very short, only four months a year, from October to February. Nevertheless, 50 million krembos are sold each year—an average of 9 per person in Israel. 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.What I find most significant about that statistic is that almost 80 % of Israelis have a clear preference... Krembos are such a ubiquitous snack that you practically aren't Israeli if you don't know how you eat your Krembo!
Personally, I'm actually an eat-in-from-the-side kind of gal. I like to have a little bit of cream, a little chocolate, and a little cookie in each bite. How about you? Have you started on your nine-Krembos-per-winter allotment yet? :)