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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
RECIPE #2: GLAZED HONEY-CINNAMON APPLES
We adapted this recipe from Taste Of Home, substituting honey for table sugar (photo #5).
Enjoy them plain, perhaps with a sprinkle of raisins or dried cranberries; or with a creamy topping.
Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 3 hours in a slow cooker. Alternatively, you can sauté the apples.
1. PEEL, core and cut each apple into eight wedges. Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker. Drizzle with lemon juice.
2. COMBINE the brown sugar, honey, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over the apples. Drizzle with the melted butter.
3. COVER and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until apples are tender.