Shfaram Ice Cream – Shefar'am, Israel - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Shfaram Ice Cream

Shefar'am, Israel

Unique flavors and plant sap make this ice cream special. 


In the late 1930s, the grandmother of the Zeitun family had a special process for making ice cream without electricity. Her method involved placing a copper pot inside a wooden vessel, and filling the gap with crushed ice. Her secret ingredient was flavorful resin of the mastic plant, which has been used for millennia as a chewing gum. Constant stirring of the ingredients created a uniquely chewy, elastic ice cream.

Soon the news passed between family and friends, and this treat became a household name throughout the Israeli Arab town of Shfaram. To this day, the Zeitun family continues to make ice cream according to the original recipe.

They now own a chain of ice cream parlors across Israel and they’ve expanded their flavors to include some truly unique offerings. Their baklava ice cream has two layers, one with subtle lemony flavoring, the second with a green pistachio flavor. What is really special is the topping of baked kadayif pastry used in making baklava.

Other flavors include halva-flavored ice cream topped with sesame seed and honey, and k’nafeh,  cheese-flavored ice cream topped with filo pastry and a generous helping of crushed roasted pistachios.

Know Before You Go

There are branches in many Israeli Arab towns across Israel, including Nazareth.

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July 29, 2022

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