Krembo. Supplied courtesy Mrs Levy, Tel Aviv
© Denzil Green
Krembo is a cookie made in Israel only from October to February.
It consists of a thin round biscuit at the bottom, with a marshmallow-like foam on top of that. The whole cookie is thinly coated in dairy-free chocolate.
It is very tall for its size, because the foam dollop is quite tall, compared to that on Mallomars and Whippets. It is similar in height to the dollop on top of Danish Flødeboller cookies.
This foam topping is made from melted white sugar and egg white albumin. The two are mixed in a vat where air pressure forces the mixture into a foam that is softer than the marshmallow used for other similar cookies
There are various flavours. The most popular is vanilla, followed by mocha.
Each individual Krembo cookie is wrapped in thin colourful foil with decorations on it.
The name is used generically by consumers, though it actually refers to the version of this cookie produced by the Strauss-Elite company.
Other companies make their own versions, calling it other names, of course. The Feldman Ice Cream Company (aka “Felco”) makes a version they call “Manbo” (aka “Angel Kiss.”) In 2009, the Israeli supermarket and hypermarket chain Super-Sol (“Shufersal”) announced its own private label brand of the cookie, which they call a “Kef-bo.” Super-Sol’s version is made for them by Feldman. 
The population of Israel eats 50 million of these, under various brand names, a year. 54% of the market in Israel is controlled by Strauss with its Krembo brand.
The Strauss Krembo factory is near Dimona, Israel.
There, boxes and boxes of biscuit bases are fed into a machine, which arrays them in rows on a conveyor belt. As the belt moves them along, they pass under the arm of a machine that has spaced out nozzles on it. The biscuit bases pause for a few seconds under these arms, while the nozzles pipe out the tall dollops of egg-foam on them. Then the conveyor belt carries them under streams of chocolate, where the cookies are completely covered in dairy-free chocolate, save for the underside of the biscuit base.
After they are dried on the conveyor belt, the belt then carries them by women, who have to hand wrap them in foil, putting the completed and wrapped ones in slotted boxes ready for shipping. Each woman can wrap and process about 30 Krembos a minute.
Tunnock’s Teacakes, Mallomar Cookies, Whippet Cookies, Moonpies and Krembos are quite similar. Whippets are the longest-made of these.
In 1966, the Whitman Company began making their version of this cookie commercially, and invented the name Krembos for it. The flavour was vanilla.
In 1967, they introduced the mocha flavour.
In 1979, Whitman was bought by the Strauss-Elite (now mostly owned by Unilever.)
Some people trace the origin of Krembos to Danish Flødeboller cookies. But it’s just as likely the idea may have drifted in from Montreal, where there is a large Jewish population, and where the similar cookie “Whippets” have been made since 1901.
Literature & Lore
Krembo is a combination of two Hebrew words: “krem” meaning “cream”, and “bo” meaning “in it.”
In Hebrew, קרמבו , which is pronounced “krembo.”
In the 1940s, a Krembo was called a “Kushi”, referring to a dark-skinned person from the land of Kush, but this name was dropped over the years when it came to take on offensive terms in the last half of the 1900s.
 Dovrat-Meseritz, Adi. Super-Sol slaps at Strauss with cheaper, private-label version of Krembo snack. Tel Aviv, Israel: Haaretz. 16 December 2009.
Abramovitch, Ilana and Seán Galvin. Jews of Brooklyn. University Press of New England, 2002. Page 55.
Making of Krembos. Video. 2 December 2005. Retrieved August 2010 from http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3176738,00.html
The Question – What do you prefer, Krembo or ice cream? The Jerusalem Post. 9 October 2009.