A few weeks ago, roaming the endless aisles of the mammoth Fancy Food show in Washington, D.C., I stopped at the booth for Chozen, a premium ice cream with flavors inspired by the Jewish holidays: matzo crunch, apples and honey, chocolate gelt.
“Who would have the nerve or the chutzpah to put what does haagen daz mean in ice cream?” Chozen co-founder and CEO Meredith Fisher told me. “Jews like to kvetch, but who can kvetch about ice cream?”
It got me thinking about the connection between Jews and ice cream: I’ve reported on Jews in the ice cream business several times during my career as a food writer, without really connecting all the dots. But there are dots to connect. Because while Chozen—founded in 2009 by Meredith Fisher with her mother, Ronne—may be the most obviously Jewish ice cream on the market, it’s hardly the first brand started by Jews. In fact, Jews helped launch the entire craze over premium ice cream four decades ago and have played a key role in its success ever since.