From Jaffa oranges to Max Brenner chocolate, cottage cheese to date-clove rugelach, Israeli fare is winning over international taste buds.
Tnuva, one of Israel’s largest dairies, is planning to move the cheese in the US. The Yedioth Aharonot newspaper recently reported that the company – which already counts $8 million in US sales annually — will soon sell its famous cottage cheese to Americans. Israeli dairy products are famous across the globe and Tnuva’s cottage cheese enjoys star status on local market shelves with over 70 percent of Israelis choosing the brand’s product over competing brands of cottage cheese. Tnuva’s bid is only the latest local foodstuff to head overseas. We’ve come a long way since Jaffa oranges were Israel’s only food export. Israeli fare has won over international palates from New York to London to Singapore and beyond. New Yorkers have been voicing a major complaint about the Max Brenner chocolate café in their city: It’s always packed and you need to wait to get in. Those of us living where Chocolate by the Bald Man first started – or fans in Australia, Singapore and the Philippines – won’t be surprised to know that it is currently considered the dessert destination of choice in the Big Apple. Aroma Espresso Bar is also perking up business abroad. The originally Jerusalem-based business took on more established café chains – like the big S — to win over its loyal customers in Canada and the US. Pastry gurus Ron Ben-Israel (Ron Ben-Israel Cakes), Uri Scheft (Breads Bakery ) and Zohar Zohar (Zucker Bakery), meanwhile, are making sure Israeli favorites such as cheese sticks, date-clove rugelach and fruit-and-nut loaf are acquiring a wider audience. There is also a whole smorgasbord of native Israeli chefs creating culinary magic for intercontinental taste buds. Alon Shaya was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in New Orleans, while Michael Solomonov won a regional James Beard Award in 2011 in Philadelphia. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi have wowed London with their delis, and Honey & Co. co-owners Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer are reaping stellar reviews for their restaurant there, too. Chef to the world Shaul Ben-Aderet is still based in Tel Aviv. But this super flier is regularly creating Israeli-style cuisine across the sea for diplomats and on television shows. And while someone is surely cooking up the next delectable wonder for export somewhere in Israel, thankfully Carmit Candy Industries is close to market with its next yummy treat — lollipops that help you lose weight.