You likely don’t have to be Jewish to get the “certain inside jokes and elements” that go into the flavor profiles of Chozen ice cream, says co-founder Meredith Fisher, but an appreciation for Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm probably helps.
Chozen is a small, family-run, certified Kosher ice-cream brand conceived by Fisher, her mother Ronne and her sister Isabelle Krishana one night as they sat around the dining table and paired vanilla ice cream with Ronne’s homemade rugalach eaten right from the freezer. That became their first flavor–cinnamon ice cream swirled with pieces of apricot, walnut, raisin and almond pastry–which launched in June 2010 along with Matzoh Crunch and Coconut Macaroon. The family, who all live in Manhattan, distributed their products themselves to stores like Union Market, Zabars, Garden of Eden, Wholefoods and Dean and Deluca.
Coffee Talk, their latest flavor, is “a pure rich espresso ice-cream,” says Meredith, and inspired by Jewish ladies sitting together and enjoying a get-together over coffee. It’s the time honored “coffee klatch,” a Yiddish word that means “a casual social gathering of coffee and conversation” she says, referencing the Saturday Night Live skits that brought the concept of “kibitzing” to the mainstream, she adds.
Beyond their Jewish j0kes, Chozen also pays attention to provenance, sourcing from an Oneida County dairy that works with local farms, and “every ingredient is not only kosher” but “all-natural,” says Meredith, who left her marketing job with fashion label Diane von Furstenberg this January to concentrate on Chozen full time. The family also avoids corn syrup, gums and stabilizers in their finished products and ingredients.
For the Matzoh Crunch, a Brooklyn baker even makes the matzoh that is covered in caramel and a layer of chocolate–”our version of Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch.” The Coconut Macaroon is also “inspired by Passover” says Meredith, while the Apple and Honey that came later makes “a very traditional pairing for Rosh Hashanah.” This Hanukkah, of course, offer friends and family a pint of Chocolate Gelt.