A taste from our friends in the Middle East.
Good afternoon Twisties,
Do you remember in my post yesterday, I mentioned having a backlog of snackt-asting boxes to write up for you to read? Well, you see, the plan was to share yesterday’s very tasty recipe, then kick back and relax until next week. No such luck! Our next box is already in the UK, so this poor, poor girl has been tethered (not literally!) to her desk once more!
Today’s snack tasting comes to us all the way from Israel. I was really excited by this box because I still remember Toy by Netta Barzilai, the song that won the 2018 Eurovision. Israel was the guest entry for 2018, and as is always the way with guest entries, the other European countries watch with a great level of excitement and interest. As it stands, I love Eurovision, I think it’s a great way, musically, to get a little taste of what another country might be like. It’s got a lot of political bias on the point-scoring system, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate one another nonetheless!
When Netta’s song first hit our screens, there was a whole lot of bewilderment in most UK lounges. The dance that accompanied the song was only known as “the chicken dance”, but soon and sure enough, people of all generations were trying to dance and sing along. Before we knew it, Israel had taken home the trophy!
When it comes to middle-eastern food, I, like many other Westerners, love a good falafel. The really funny story comes from Matt telling me that I wouldn’t like falafel because it’s spicy, and now I bemoan anything savoury that doesn’t have any spice or seasoning in it. No, I didn’t like falafel, I loved them instead!
Alright, enough about me. Shall we begin?
Bamba Peanut Butter Puffs
Just like chocolate wafers, it seems as though a lot of countries have some variation on the humble puffed corn snack. Most countries have opted for cheese, but Israelis seem to prefer peanut butter. How curious?
Winner or Binner? Sorry Israel, we don’t follow suit. The initial peanut butter flavour is great, but then these dry your mouth out like nothing I’ve tasted before. Most bizarrely, they do actually grow on you after a while, but the dryness is enough to keep you eating them for long. Sorry Israel, it’s a Binner from us.
Curiouser and curiouser. Firstly, I’ve never had a falafel flavoured snack before, and secondly, these looked an awful lot like the bran sticks my father used to eat with milk and a banana for breakfast. Maybe they’re not, or maybe they are? Surely not..
Winner or Binner? Oh Istrael, I want to love you and then I also hate you. These sticks (okay, so they’re actually more like cute little ‘C’ shapes) have a wonderful falafel flavour and the cumin is oh so present, but oh are they ever torture for someone who struggles with a sensitive stomach. These sticks are delicious, but they’re also very hard and crispy, and my stomach hated that not too soon after tasting these. It’s a Winner, but only in very, very small amounts!
Can we jus take a moment to notice the really fun shape of these? I love that! Once you’re done admiring the fun shape of these though, these small cubes of wheat promise a pizza flavour. We’ve had pizza snacks before, so how do these compare?
Winner or Binner? Oof, just like the above, these are very crunchy! The flavour isn’t strongly pizza, but the flavour that is there is good – slightly salty, slightly meaty, maybe even slightly cheesy and garlicky, too! They’re definitely a Winner, but again – go easy!
According to the leaflet, these chocolatey treats are normally given to well behaved children, which figures on several accounts as to why I haven’t seen them before! I was curious to know though whether it was just a few, or a whole bag. It seems like quite a lot of chocolate for one child to me. Alright, let’s check them out!
Winner or Binner? First of all, there are absolutely tonnes in a bag, and secondly, they are quite thickly covered in chocolate. They’re rich, they’re crispy, they’re like the ones that come with the banana “Crunch Corner” yogurts from Müller, but to be honest, these are better. They’re a great treat for kids, and great for adults, too! A Winner.
Unfortunately, another not-so-well-travelled bar. This one reached us in three pieces, but we managed to reassemble the puzzle, just for you! This bar features a creamy filling with puffed rice, coated in smooth milk chocolate.
Winner or Binner? This bar is definitely sweet and creamy! It’s nice, but we couldn’t really detect any puffed rice, it’s also not something you want to eat too fast. It’s a Winner for sure, but maybe just in little nibbles.
Klik In Milk Truffle
At a first glance, this made me think of the Milky Way Crispy Rolls that we have here in the UK. It looks surprisingly similar, albeit a lot bigger. As it stands, I loved Crispy Rolls as a kid, but how I’ll feel about the Israeli equivalent, as an adult? We’ll see.
Winner or Binner? There are so many layers that make up this fun bar! It’s like a Crispy Roll for sure, except it’s even more complicated than that! There is the milk chocolate, the white chocolate at the bottom, the crispy wafer, the creamy filling.. there is just so much going on! Some people refuse to grow up, and with Klik In Milk Truffle, I can’t say that I would blame them. It’s a Winner.
Nothing about this bar feels distinctively kiddish. It feels like it’s made for adults, or even sporting adults, at that. The orange and yellow wrapper feels quite grown up, and the detail on the top made Matt think of baskeballs.It’s still a wafer bar, but we were almost surprised to find it in a snack-tasting box. It feels a bit too grown-up for that!
Winner or Binner? This is pure decadence! It’s rich with a wonderful hazelnut cream, a smooth, thick chocolate covering and crisp wafer. If Kinder Bueno was made for adults, this would be it. At first, Spain tried to entice us, and now it seems that Israel is on the charm offensive! Another Winner.
Milk Chocolate Coins
Really interestingly, these chocolate coins are apparently gifted during Hanukkah, and in the UK, chocolate coins are also often given at Christmas. Growing up, I can remember my Nan always used to have two nets for my brother and me hanging on her metre-tall Christmas tree, and we weren’t allowed to have them until Christmas day. The nets in the UK are considerably larger than this, but still, it’s the thought that counts!
Winner or Binner? Unfortunately, just like the British ones, chocolate coins lose their appeal ones you hit adulthood. These aren’t a nice, quality chocolate, they’re made with a poorer quality, waxier chocolate, almost like you might expect to find on a cake. They might be okay for kids, but alas, not for adults. I’m still sticking the foils in my scrapbook as a reminder of our taste of Israel, but otherwise, it’s a Binner.
Chocolate Log (A substitution!)
According to the leaflet, we were supposed to get a taste of halva, but that didn’t happen. Not to worry because we’ve had halva before and I can safely say it was a hit (with me, anyway 😉 ). Instead, we have a flaky Chocolate Log to try!
Winner or Binner? Hmm.. mixed results on this one. Matt was a fan, but I much prefer Cadbury’s Flake. I was picking up a hint of coconut from somewhere, but again, it’s quite waxy, which put me off. Not bad, but I wouldn’t sail the seven seas to have it again. A Winner or a Binner, depending on who you ask!
First of all, let me just admit that “Fluffy Tuffy.. that’s you, ain’t it?” was apparently NOT the right thing to say to my husband 😉 All jokes aside, these taffies are apparently fruity and aromatic and apparently come in a variety of flavours. What makes them fluffy isn’t quite clear, but I’m sure we’ll find out. We only got sent strawberry flavour, but I’m sure they’re fine!
Winner or Binner? The first shock is that these taffies are completely white, and the second is that they’re covered in a powder, perhaps that’s what makes them fluffy? Texturally, they aren’t fluffy at all, but they’re bursting with a juicy, creamy, wonderful strawberry flavour, and so it’s an all-round Winner, even if just for that!
If there was one thing in this box that really grabbed my attention, it was the shape of these little packets. They’re just so different, and where there’s different, you immediately want to know more! Oodles are apparently little chewy sweets, but you know, in amazing and adorable packaging.. let’s not overlook the packaging here, okay? We have green apple, blue raspberry and mixed flavours to try.
Winner or Binner? At first, the smell of these is noticeably of artificial flavours. They’re also coloured most definitely artificially, but that’s also sort of okay. They’re similar to Millions like we have here in the UK, but also larger. Even if they’re artificially flavoured, they are good flavours, and the green apple ones are our collective favourite. We also agreed these would be a really cute and fun way to decorate a cupcake. Another Winner from us.
What surprised us most was…
The amount of chocolate! Oof, Istrael, you’re killing us over here! We can definitely get on board with more falafel and falafel-flavoured things, but to be comp letely honest, if I could have more falafel and less chocolate, then I’d probably be perfectly fine. Chocolate is great, but we really hope that Israelis are going steady on the good stuff, too.
Alright lovelies, that’s it for this week’s foodie posts. Which of these Israeli treats would you like to try? Do you have any favourite memories of Israel? Let me know in the commoents!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,
Helen & Matt xx