Rosh Hashanah Apple Recipes
By Leah Koenig
Jewish holidays are filled with rich food symbolism. Many of these symbols--like eating matzah on Passover or fried foods on Hanukkah--can be traced back to a specific textual, historical, or agricultural source. But the origin of dipping apples into honey, the iconic foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah, is less clear.
It is customary on Rosh Hashanah to wish family and friends a "good and sweet New Year," so pairing a sugary apple with even the sweeter honey is a fitting culinary practice. Still, why do we dip an apple instead of a peach, fig, or pear?
Part of the answer lies with the apple's overall significance within Jewish tradition. A line in Solomon's Song of Songs says, "As the apple is rare and unique among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved [the people of Israel] amongst the maidens [nations] of the world" (2:3). The text suggests that God shares a special and intimate relationship with the Jewish people--an idea that resonates deeply on Rosh Hashanah. It is the apple tree, not the peach, fig, or pear, that assumes the symbolic status as a marker and reminder of that bond.
Besides, arriving at this season healthy and in good, sweet company is something to celebrate!
Here are 8 recipes--from appetizer to dessert--that bring a new twist to the ancient tradition of eating sweet apples on the Jewish New Year.
Rosh Hashana Apple Recipe #1...
Leah Koenig is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Jewish Living Magazine, Gastronomica, and others. She edits the blog The Jew & The Carrot--a blog on Jews, food, and sustainability. For more information, visit her website.