The Uniqueness of Israel
Celebrating National Ice Cream Day in Israel
During your gap year in Israel there will be many important days, such as the various festivals and national celebrations, e.g. Yom Haatzmaut. However, one very important day that you may not have considered is National Ice Cream Day, which takes place in July each year.
While the holiday may have its origins in the United States, in recent years Israelis have embraced it as the perfect way to enjoy a treat and cool off in the midst of the summer. President Ronald Reagan created the holiday in 1984. He declared that July would be National Ice Cream Month and said that the third Sunday of the month would be National Ice Cream Day. Ever since, the day has been marked by ice cream shops offering discounts and special promotions to celebrate, and in Israel it is no different.
For instance, in previous years the ice cream chain Anita offered a special vegan ‘Doggy Cream’ sorbet free for any dogs that visited its shops during the day. It was a banana flavoured treat that was dairy free, in order not to cause dogs any digestive problems. Other chains have chosen to promote special flavours while one year Ben and Jerry’s in Israel opted to give a free tub to anyone who was celebrating their birthday on National Ice Cream Day.
It is not hard to find an ice cream shop in Israel, which is hardly surprising considering the weather. On average, Israelis are thought to eat between 8 and 10 litres per person each year, which is not an insignificant amount!
However, if you are going to celebrate National Ice Cream Day in Israel, then you should take the chance to try some flavours not found elsewhere. For example, you are likely to see Israelis eating watermelon with Bulgarian cheese. If you like the sound of that, then you will love the ice cream version. Alternatively, you could keep an eye out for Olive Oil and Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes flavour. That one is available at Arte Glideria in Tel Aviv, a location known for its highly unusual flavours. It is located on Nachalat Binyamin Street and is certainly worth a visit.
Those who are in Jerusalem can stop by Glida Machane Yehuda. There you can find flavours such as Chinese Pecan that are made and stored the Italian way, in stainless-steel canisters. They also offer Alfajores cookies, which is butter cookies, caramel and coconut mixed together.
Those who prefer French style ice cream can stop by Mousseline in Jerusalem. They use the freshest seasonal produce from specialty farms to create a range of flavours such as pineapple sorbet. However, their most popular flavour is Coffee Arabica, the perfect way to get a caffeine boost in the summer months.
Back in Tel Aviv, be sure to stop by Anita. There you can try halva sorbet. They also offer a number of vegan options such as non-dairy Oreo cookies and dragon fruit sorbet. Don’t worry if they don’t appeal, the shop offers more than 150 flavours including salted bagel and Loaker hazelnut wager cookies.
While ice cream may not be top of your priorities when planning your gap year, if you are in Israel then you may as well make the most of National Ice Cream Day and enjoy exploring some uniquely Israeli flavours.