For the JC April 2021
There were sighs of rapture from British immigrants to Israel this week, as a local version of Walker’s salt and vinegar crisps went on sale. One woman even posted on Facebook: “Moshiach [Messiah] has come!”
Lay’s-Pepsico, which makes Walker’s in the UK, has licensed Tapuchips, a subsidiary of Israel’s Strauss food company, to produce the snack in Israel. Anton Delin, administrator of the “Brits Living In Israel” Facebook group, said members of his nearly 8,000 strong group had been beseeching Strauss for months, trying to persuade the company to produce salt and vinegar and cheese and onion crisps, as a way of introducing new flavours to the Israel market.
“We heard nothing”, he said, “but suddenly, on Monday, these crisps hit the shelves — and ecstasy ensued”. The crisps, priced at “a very reasonable 80p to £1.50 a bag”, were “flying off the shelves”, according to Mr Delin, and were available all over the country.
Mr Delin, who lives in Caesarea, said the taste was “very close” to the Walker’s original. “Not only are they tasty, but they are kosher, too,” he said.
But the crisps are not the only UK product to thrill British tastebuds in Israel. “English chocolate has flooded the market”, Mr Delin said. “For the first time ever, a month ago we had Cadbury’s Creme Eggs — and we’ve had lots of other Cadbury’s chocolate, too, such as their Fruit and Nut bars”. Some of the chocolate, he said, came from Cadbury’s factory in Egypt, but a great deal more was directly from the UK — and could be arriving in Israel because Brexit meant that European markets were more difficult to penetrate.
Meanwhile, as the Great Crisp Victory of 2021 continues to be celebrated on social media, Mr Delin revealed that the next target was Ribena, the blackcurrant soft drink. As one happy British immigrant noted: “Now there’s no reason not to make aliyah.” One thing is for sure: with UK crisps and chocolate available, Israeli kiddush will never be the same again.