Allow Me to Introduce You to the Joy of Israeli Chocolate Milk in a Bag – Kveller
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Allow Me to Introduce You to the Joy of Israeli Chocolate Milk in a Bag

When will the U.S. catch on to the genius that is shoko besakit?

shoko (1)

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Mostly I am a person of simple pleasures  — I prefer a can of seltzer to a bespoke cocktail, an oversized tee to a tailored designer dress, a night vegging out in front of my TV to most of the tony events the city has to offer — but food is my one big splurge. Like, yes, I want to hear about the specials, please tell me more about your tasting menu, and let me just order one extra side of brussels sprouts, while we’re at it. 

Still, the best “dining out” experience of my youth remains, as it does for many Israelis, a parve bread roll from the makolet (local bodega) with a cold shoko besakit — chocolate milk in a bag.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of drinking chocolate milk from a damp, dewy plastic bag, a ritual that usually involves biting off one of the tips of said receptacle and in doing so ending up with a little unappetizing piece of gummy plastic in your mouth, in between bites of bread, let me tell you that it slaps (is that OK to say? Do the kids still say this? Please let me know). The chocolaty sweet sip you are rewarded with pairs so perfectly with that pillowy fresh roll. It’s a mix of satiating and refreshing that’s just so perfect to start your morning with (and yes, if you’re like me and lactose does not agree with you, it will leave you a bit queasy for the next few hours, but hey, it’s worth it). 

So of course, I had to pass down that sacred ritual to my kids who are growing up in America where chocolate milk unfortunately only comes in cartons and bottles. L’dor v’dor, amiright?

Before every visit back to Israel, my mother fills the fridge of my childhood home with dairy delicacies (because Israeli dairy is superior, period). And of course, that includes an industrial amount of shoko besakit. 

Every visit, my kids get a bit more adept at drinking it. We’ve had to cut the tip off with scissors and add reusable straws, and place them in glass cups to avoid them shpritzing their faces and clothes full of extremely sticky and possibly staining chocolate milk, but mostly, it’s been a joy to see them wake up and whine for “shoko” first thing in the morning, then inhale my favorite childhood drink.

Sure, I love to share sushi and risotto and other fancy and costly meals with them and initiate them into gourmand culture. But the experience of seeing my 5-year-old deftly tear off the tip of a shoko besakit bag with his teeth, spit it out on the ground like a viking and hoover that shoko in like a pro? As the credit cards commercials of yore said — it’s priceless.

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