Americans nosh on Israeli snacks

Buzzfeed video testers taste Bamba, Bisli, Crembo and other treats

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

It used to be that all snack foods, like all politics, were local. But in today’s globalized world, many of us don’t have to go farther than our local grocery store to find sweet and savory treats from around the world.

So, of course, that leads us to the question: What do Americans raised on Twinkies, Cheetos and Hershey bars think of the stuff generations of Israeli kids have grown up eating?

Buzzfeed, the news media company that brought us such classics as “The Jewish Food Taste Test” and “Hanukkah Explained by Christians,” provides an answer with “Americans Try Israeli Snacks.”

The taste-testers, many of them familiar from the other videos, start out with Milky, the plastic cup of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream so expensive in Israel that it has apparently driven young Israelis to consider moving to Berlin, where a similar item is sold at a much lower price.

As Israeli as Milky is, it would be hard to find an American who wouldn’t like it. The same, however, cannot be said for some of the other Israeli snacks the taste testers bravely try.

To Israelis, Bamba is just Bamba, but to the Americans it’s apparently “like putting a Cheetos in your mouth, but then it turns into peanut butter.” It’s all just too confusing.

The Bisli falafel flavor is palatable, but the snack pieces “look like rodent food.” Yum.

The sweet Crembo confections (available in Israel only in the winter months, because their cream fillings would melt in the summer heat) and Pesek Zman candy bars pass the sniff test, as well as the taste test.

And these intrepid eaters familiar with American Pop Rocks don’t pass up the chance to eat Israeli chocolate with popping candies in it. Once they stop listening to the candies snapping, crackling and popping in one another’s mouths, they offer their approving comments.

“It’s like when you’re at a club and you think the party’s over, but it’s not — because it’s still going on, ” says one young woman as her mouth continues to tingle. Obviously the Tel Aviv nightlife in food form.

Buzzfeed gets credit for putting together another amusing video. However, it must be noted that others beat it to the punch as far as filming non-Israelis eating Israeli junk food for the first time. YouTube star Emmy Made In Japan has eaten Israeli snacks sent to her by viewers, as has an Aussie known as One Pot Chef. And a couple of dudes who go by the online handle Smosh made a video of themselves eating extremely stale Israeli snacks — a rather unappetizing spectacle.

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