For the Jewish New Year celebration, Rosh Hashanah—which begins Sunday at sunset—apple slices and honey represent wishes for a sweet new and fruitful year.
This simple combination is so yummy, we wonder why it isn’t a regular snack for everybody.
The recipe is simple:
Small bowl of honey
Cocktail napkins to catch honey drips
Optional small plates
You can make it into a bigger event with spiced tea like Constant Comment or chai; or mulled cider or mulled wine. If the day is warm: iced tea.
According to Reform Judiasm, neither the Bible nor the Talmud dictates the minhag, or custom, of dipping apples in honey. It has nothing to do with eating the apple in the Garden of Eden: The Bible never identifies the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:16–17).
Over the millennia, scholars have variously interpreted the fruit as the apple, carob, citron, datura, fig, grape, pear, pomegranate and quince.
However, the Midrash, a method of interpreting bible stories, says the Garden of Eden had the scent of an apple orchard. In Kabbalah the Garden Of Eden is called “the holy apple orchard.”
More likely, apples were selected because in ancient times they became a symbol of the Jewish relationship to God. In just one source, the Zohar (a 13th-century Jewish mystical text), it states that beauty, represented by God, “diffuses itself in the world as an apple.”
Why is the apple used in all the Garden of Eden paintings?
It was chosen as the by Western European painters.
The customary New Year’s greeting, “Shana Tova Umetukah” (A Good and Sweet Year), has existed at least since the 7th century.
Honey—whether from bees, dates or figs—was the most prevalent sweetener in the Jewish world. But in the biblical description of Israel as a land flowing with “milk and honey,” the Torah is alluding to a paste made from overripe dates, not honey from bees.
Why join in on the custom?
So go forth and acquire apples and honey, and serve this sweet treat at home: at breakfast, for snacking, or as dessert at lunch and dinner.
Check out the different types of honey, and use the occasion for a tasting.
Invite friends and family. You don’t have to come from a certain culture to enjoy their food—as most Americans are fortunate to know.
RECIPE #1: CHUTNEY FRUIT DIP
Not a fan of honey? You can make a fruit dip from chutney, jam or preserves (the differences) with plain yogurt, sour cream or yogurt, or a blend. Add a dab of mayo if you like. Stir in the fruit condiments to taste.
Honey: the original fruit dip? In biblical times, a paste of dates, also called honey, was used.  Photo courtesy Good Eggs | SF.  Photo courtesy Between The Bread | NYC.  An idea from Martha Stewart: hollow out an apple to hold the honey.
You can use any flavor of fruit. This recipe, from B & R Farms (photo #4), uses their Dried Apricot Chutney. The cream cheese makes a thicker dip, and the following proportions make two cups, enough for a group.
Fruits of choice: apples but also a mixed platter of bananas, grapes, kiwi, melons, peaches, strawberries, etc.
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
8 ounces light sour cream
½ cup chutney
1. MIX all ingredients well and refrigerate in a covered dish. When ready to serve, wash and slice the fruit and place as desired on a platter.
2. Stir the dip and place in a bowl. The dip keeps for a few days; stir well before each use.