Jewish Food

Watch Americans Taste Classic Israeli Snacks For the First Time

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By / January 26, 2015
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The folks at Buzzfeed have stumbled onto a veritable viral goldmine with a few of their latest videos, in which Americans sample (or attempt to explain) aspects of Jewish culture, with little background knowledge. First there was the Jewish Food Taste Test, then there was Hanukkah Explained By Christians (and the concomitant Christmas Explained By Jews). Now, in “Americans Try Israeli Snacks,” Jews and gentiles sample classic treats from the Holy Land for the very first time.

In just three days the video has amassed over one million views, which I find fascinating and a little surprising. (By comparison, this seminal Marmite Vs. Vegemite taste test, uploaded way back in August 2014, has 1.2 million views.) (An egregious oversight, citizens of the internet.) I mean, this is literally a video of people eating snacks! That’s all! Why is it so compelling?

Perhaps because it speaks to our nostalgia for the comforts of childhood—anyone who grew up eating Bamba will know what I’m talking about. It’s the Jewish madeleine. Just the sight of the bubble font on the packet sends me back to the early 1990s. And for those unfamiliar with Israeli snacks, the video is a benign, cute, soundbite-y take on the ‘other’—much like this one of Americans trying Indian snacks for the first time. It’s a safe, if shallow exploration of non-American culture. Also, Israeli snacks are just really delicious. Milky is pretty much the finest chocolate pudding on the face of the earth.

Still, there are some oversights! Wither shoko b’sakit? Klik malt balls? The egozi bar?

And why was “Chosson Kallah Mazel Tov”—a wedding song—chosen as the soundtrack?

Leave your thoughts, recommendations, critiques in the comments.