Jewish Holiday Cooking Tips: Sweet Foods For Rosh Hashanah

Celebrate the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah. Create a meal with traditional sweet foods that have been served for thousands of years.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.When literally translated from the Hebrew Rosh Hashanah means head of the year. This holiday is customarily celebrated by eating sweet foods.Such foods are eaten as a symbol of one's desire for a sweet and pleasant new year.After the end of prayer services Jews come home and celebrate the holiday is with a special meal.The theme of the meal is one's wish for good fortune and happiness in the coming New Year.Jews from around the world attempt to incorporate sweetness into every dish served.

Several specific sweetened foods are conventionally associated with the Rosh Hashanah celebration including honey, apples, carrots, dates, pomegranates and a sweetened version of the traditional challah bread.

Honey is served by both the Ashkenazic Jews of Northern Europe and the Sephardic Jews who live in Southern Europe and Muslim countries.Until the introduction of cane sugar honey was essentially the only primary sweetener available to most households.Honey is not only a symbol of Rosh Hashanah it is also a very useful ingredient in holiday cooking.Use it where you would normally use sugar.Glaze vegetables with it.Add a little to a sauce with a touch of lemon for contrast.Purchase a honey cake which is very easy to find in kosher bakeries at this time of the year.Whatever you do with it, do not feed this ingredient to babies under a year old because it can carry health risks for small children.

Apples are eaten because many rabbinical commentators believe they smell like the Garden of Eden and confer special blessings on those who consume them. Apples are very easy food to incorporate into a Rosh Hashanah dinner.Not only is this fruit an especially versatile one, but many varieties reach their peak flavor in September when the holiday usually begins.Make latkes and use the apples as a sauce for dipping. Chop up a few and stuff them into chicken breasts.Buy or bake an apple pie.Commemorate the holiday further by seeking out local orchards where you can pick your own straight off the tree.Bring your friends and family along to help.

Honey and apples make a good customary combination.They are commonly served at a synagogue or when prayer goers get home.The apples are sliced and dipped into the honey while reciting holiday specific blessings.

Carrots are eaten by many Jews because they are a sweet vegetable and because they resemble coins when cut up.Ashkenazim cook them in a tzimmes.A tzimmes is a stew mixture which combines the vegetable with honey and dried fruit.Carrots can be baked, added to a cup of classic chicken soup or sprinkled on top of an appetizer salad.

Dates are another sweet food regularly eaten at this time.The word for date in Hebrew is similar to a phrase that conveys the hope that one's enemies will not survive.Dates, along with pomegranates, are ancient foods much beloved by Jews for thousands of years.Warm them up for a minute or two and serve with honey for dipping.Pomegranates can be used in many different ways.Cut the thick skin; lightly crush the seeds and use as a meat marinade.Pomegranate juice is sweet, tart and often available at local supermarkets. Introduce this jewel colored treat to your family during the meal.

Challah is a round loaf of bread that is also consumed during the rest of the year.Many kosher bakeries make special loaves with raisins in them during this time.The challah is dipped in the honey along with the apples.

Celebrate the New Year with a delicious sweet feast.With a little bit of luck you and your family will enjoy a shanah tovah or happy New Year.

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