For generations, Israeli children have been split on the issue of the perfect chocolate spread. One of the main contenders has always been Hashachar Haole’s offering. Back when I was a child, no packed lunch was complete without a sandwich spread with the above. As teenagers, we took it along on our school trips and started each day with some coffee and a sandwich made out of digestive biscuits and a generous helping of this spread.
Even today, when the market is full of posher alternatives, Hashachar Haole is still the spread of choice for nostalgic Israeli parents who pass on the love to their children. It is, you can say, an institution.
But what does it taste like and how does it compare to other spreads on the market? I figured it’s time to revisit my childhood obsession and find out.
Sadly, having tried it, I must say that Hashachar Haole is rather disappointing in today’s standards. It’s neither refined nor indulgent in flavour but just very very sweet: I’d say 70% pure sweetness and 30% chocolate flavour. This is not surprising considering the fact that sugar seems to be the main ingredient in this spread.
Unfortunately, there is also a strange aftertaste involved that is rather sickly, so I found I couldn’t eat more than a tiny amount unless I spread a it quite thinly on something large enough to mitigate the effect.
Luckily, in spite of its thick consistency, Hashachar Haole spreads easily and effectively on sandwiches of both the bread and biscuit variety.
If you’re used to more upmarket spreads, you probably won’t like this one very much. It’s a basic product designed to satisfy children’s sweet tooth in the simplest and quickest way possible. It’s a relic from simpler times when all that was required from a chocolate spread was to be brown and sweet. As such, it does work to this day: my 10 year old brother would happily demolish a jar of the stuff as a snack if he were allowed to do so. Being kosher parev (or parve) Hashachar Haole is also suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant, as it contains no dairy ingredients. That’s about as far as it goes, though. The rest is pure nostalgia.