On nearly a dozen recorded days since 2005, Manhattan and its Upper West Side has smelled like maple syrup or French toast. It has been a mystery. Was it bio terrorism? Was it a refinery in New Jersey? Or was it just the winds from New Jersey? Well, the mystery has been solved. It is, allegedly, Israelis in New Jersey.
New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that the odor is being emitted by a factory owned by Frutarom, which processes Fenugreek seeds and other items into flavors and fragrances. The source of the odor is tied to an ester derived from the Fenugreek, also known in Hebrew as Hilbeh, seed processing. Founded in 1933, Frutarom is based in Haifa, and has a facility in North Bergen, NJ in the USA. Its majority shareholder is ICC Industries. Frutarom is known for its floral, green, fruity, rosy, herbal, fresh, citrus, spicy, woody, melon, honey, mint, sandalwood, musk, and jasmine odors, but no mention was given to â€œmaple.â€
In other unrelated news of Israelis in the world, check your hometown in the coming weeks for Israeli racing teams who are part of a new tv show. HaMerotz LaMillion is a takeoff of “The Amazing Race,” now in its 12th season in North America> IT will be broadcast in Israel on Reshet Bet Channel 2 TV. It is estimated that the production will spend $5 million.
Ten couples will compete for 1 Million NIS. Competitors will include two Tel Aviv night club owners (Shai Kahane and Guy Ossidon), and 2 Israeli beauty queens (Elena Ralph and Liran Kohner). There are also two elderly kibbutzniks (Hannah and Margalit), an engaged heterosexual couple, a stepfather and stepdaughter (Gil and Tom), and two childhood friends (Asher and Maor). One can expect lots of fights and tears, an epiphany or two, and scenes of Israelis traveling abroad in a way for which Israelis are famous. Do I mean shopping?
The first episode starts in Tel Aviv, where the teams fly to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and the teams must drag a log in Kragga Kamma Game Park and carry a bowl of fruit on their heads in Nomathamsanqa. If you enjoy the idea of boiling down a country to a single cultural perception (and a souvenir), then this is your kind of show, or at least my kind of show.