Israeli Chocolatier Ika Cohen walked away with a gold medal at the International Chocolate Awards recently, winning the ganache and truffles category with a Middle Eastern-influenced za’atar ganache.
“It was a praline that was talked about a lot, because most of the judges were not familiar with za’atar. They liked the way the salt balanced it and the harmony of the praline,” Cohen told Haaretz.
According to the article, the competition “was launched in 2012 by leading American, British and Italian chocolatiers to promote the industry.” But Israelis have made an impact each year.
Another Israeli chocolatier, Bruno Chocolate, won two silver medals for her Mumbai Crunch and Halvah Cream pralines.
Fine chocolate is a growing industry in Israel. For decades, confectionary in the country was dominated by Elite, a mass producer founded in 1933. But Max Brenner chocolates revolutionized the game, bringing playful treats with carefully sourced ingredients in 1996; the brand has now spread to over 50 locations around the world.