Rachel Brender is the CEO of TasteTLV, the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.
Kassandra Grunewald is the Co-Founder of TasteTLV. TasteTLV is the ultimate culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.
At one sitting we tried 44 out of the 50 or 60 flavors that are on hand
at Vaniglia at any given time. If this sounds like a large variety,
it’s a small amount in the ever changing ice box of Itay Rogozinsky, one
of the brothers who own the incredibly successful ice cream shop with
over eight branches. We came to Itay to decide on the top five flavors
at Vaniglia, however we should have known that this would be an
impossible task. How could we possibly narrow down such a variety of
flavors and textures when most of them are incomparable?
On top of variety, we found the sheer quality of the
aromas, textures, colors and tastes to be incomprehensibly
indistinguishable from their fixings. As Itay explained why sorbet is
his favorite, “sorbet can actually accentuate the aromas, colors, and
tastes of a fruit. It also brings it to an enjoyable texture and
removes any work involved in consuming your favorite fruit.” While we
are not yet able to tell from a taste of Strawberries & Cream that
the strawberries were picked a month too early, as Itay, we very much
enjoyed bringing you the Top 5 Most Unique Flavors at
When one takes such care in picking only the ripest and
highest quality fruits how could the sorbet turn out anything less than
exceptional? I was worried that the Campari would overthrow the
grapefruit, and I don’t even like Campari. Was I ever wrong.
Itay makes it his life work to elegantly balance the
delicate flavors in each batch. This sorbet is a balance of sweet and
tart, of sour and bitter, and of red and pink. Its sweet and refreshing
at first and while the ice melts on your tongue it brings a delicate
punch of the bitterness of Campari, and ends with a warm and tart
aftertaste that leaves you yearning for the next bite.
If you enjoy fruit sorbet
with a twist, Itay has also paired a northern Israeli syrah with Israeli
safadoneh pears, wrapped in cinnamon. This is a treat in the summer or
winter, as it inexplicably warms and refreshes simultaneously.
Poppy seed/ Almond
it.” Itay says, with a smile on his face. Never before have I
experienced ice cream like this one.
consistency of this ice cream felt akin to barely cooked cake batter.
The taste of poppy seed (an Israeli dessert staple) combined with
almonds flown from Sicily, is a surprising yet delectable fusion of
earthly pleasures. A new take on flavors, textures, and style- this ice
cream flavor is truly representative of Itay and his brother’s style
when making ice cream. Creative combinations of flavors and top-notch
ingredients are the key to Vaniglia’s success. With the poppy seed
& almond flavor, you will be pleasantly taken by surprise. This
flavor isn’t just a taste - it’s an experience.
There is no ice cream quite
like this one, but if you enjoy the Israeli staple flavors try the Halva
ice cream. Not to be confused with Tachina - this ice cream is pure,
glorious halva, and enjoyed by most Israelis.
This inventive flavor will
undoubtedly take you by surprise. The base of this ice cream has the
taste and texture of a well-prepared lime curd. Made with local Israeli
lemons, the ice cream itself bursts with freshness and rounds out with a
tart flavor. This lemon ice cream serves as a vessel for serving up
the second part of the dessert, which is little bits of pie crust (the
soft part of the pie crust that you might find on the bottom of a lemon
bar or pie). A fresh take on lemon pie, this ice cream evokes the
feeling of a light summer dessert.
If you enjoy this type of ice cream, there
is a Cheese Cake flavor, which follows the same type of
dessert-straight-to-your-cone feel. The taste is impeccable, your
favorite cheese cake in a colder yet delightful form.
Yogurt, Pistachio, and Apricot
One bite of this ice cream and you dive head first into the essence
of the Mediterranean. You start with the tart yet soothing taste of the
yogurt, then your bite hits a soft earthy pistachio , and while you
come up for air you get a burst of the sweet apricot chunk. While
indulging in this wonderful surprise of tastes, I actually felt a sense
of pride for this region of the world. Itay was explaining this is his
mix for the Mediterranean, and I felt overcome with joy and love for
Israel. This earth that we stand on is so rich in nutrients that the
fruit and nuts that it bears are some of the best in the world. This ice
cream maker is devoting everything he has to bring these flavors of the
land to us with an enjoyable and indulgent method.
The yogurt Itay uses is not
sweet, it is plain and tart from the lactic acids. It is refreshing and
succulent, and Itay mixes it with ingredients such as roasted pine nuts,
bananas, and almonds. At any given time there is a couple of these
wonderful yogurt flavors.
Before I tell you the glorious ten spices that make up this
surprisingly delicate mixture, it is the fragrance that first hits you.
It reminded me of a warm autumn, or even of a pumpkin pie spice mix. But
instead of thick squash flavor, a soft milk froth sprinkled delicately
with spices rolls over your tongue. It took us a couple rounds, but the
ten spices are hell, American pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, tonka
bean, vanilla, anise, licorice, and clove. This flavor is the opposite
of spicy or loud, just a pinch of each of these spices are tossed into
the batch, and are mixed until even the “microscopic, molecular level”
has been evenly dispersed throughout. The end product is a light,
aromatic and soothing ice cream that will remind each and every one of a
This ice cream is definitely one of
a kind, but if you are into quality spices and beans, try going with
some classic French Vanilla. Nothing classic about Itay’s version, as he
travels to Italy once a year and chooses four of his favorite vanilla
beans. He extracts all of the deep flavors of the four beans, and you
are left with a creamy and luxurious flavor.
Whether you are feeling adventurous enough to experiment with your
taste buds, or stick to your favorites - you can be sure that the
ingredients in your ice cream at Vaniglia are of the highest quality,
and each batch of fresh ice cream has been made with the love and care
of a small homemade one. Whether it’s Itay telling the farmer which
branch he wants his oranges from, or that he makes sure only 4 cookies
are crumbled at a time, you are indulging in one of the most perfected
desserts in Tel Aviv.
Insider Tip: Itay is connected
to a very special farmer in the north of Israel who is growing some of
the only boysenberry’s that this country has ever seen. While many
Israelis are not familiar with the marvelous fruit, we can expect a
refined batch of boysenberry sorbet coming this summer to a Vaniglia
Kassandra Grunewald is a co-founder of TasteTLV.com.
She has been an avid foodie since she can remember making meals out of
dandelion leaves and sand in the backyard for her guests.
Rachel Brender is the CEO of TasteTLV and
has a passion for spice and flavor. She enjoys cooking in her home and
creating new recipes inspired from International chefs.