Okay, so we’re a day late. But L’Shana Tova!
That basically means have a good new year. This past weekend was the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. And while we may be tardy in directing you to dip apples in honey for a sweet new year, I do have a fall dish for you. Oh, and I’m not sure why exactly we dip apple slices into honey, (I’m guessing seasonality on this one because at this time of year one can buy both apples and honey at the farmers market) but I can tell you it’s a delicious treat. Actually, you can learn a lot from these two videos.
Here’s the song I was taught at Hebrew school back in the day:
And here’s a slightly updated version on the new year gig:
Post jump: Celebrating not just a new year, but a new season: apples!
My grandmother used to make apple sauce for both Rosh Hashanah and the next major Jewish “high” holiday, starting this Sunday night, Yom Kippur.
She made hers super sweet and super smooth and super cold. I’m not sure if she put hers through a processor, but there were no chunks to be found.
I’ve naturalized mine a bit, making it with less sugar and leaving chunks in.
I peeled and cored 9 apples, mixed variety. My mom bought them for me so I’m not sure what breeds, but there was a mix of red, green and red/green. In a pot: 1 cup water, 1/3 cup sugar, juice from 1/2 a lemon, few wrist flicks of ground cinnamon and then the cut and peeled apples.
Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 8-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are broken down and soft. Then mash apples to desired chunkiness or lack of chunkiness. Eat right away (with vanilla ice cream!) or store in the fridge until chilled.
what is a wrist flick? I’m imagining a very complex athletic maneuver.
the apples and honey are supposed to symbolize our hopes for a sweet new year to come. L’shanah tovah tikatevu!
of course i know what it *symbolizes* i just have no idea why they picked apples and honey, instead of say, carrots and sugar. or whatever.
I was asking the same question this new years…someone said the honey was because Israel is the land of milk and honey…but no one had any explanation for the apples.
Found two sources that seem to offer similar explanations for both the apples and the honey:
(From aish.com. Slogan: Your Life. Your Judaism.)
From Reform Judaism Magazine, the official voice of the Union for Reform Judaism).
Long story short: the apple was seen as a symbol of rare beauty (see the Song of Songs for a comparison to Israel) and affection by the Israelites at various points. The fruit is further praised and compared to Israel for its bold appearance before any protective leaves surround it (see aish.com for the reasoning).
I knew there was a religious reason for my unadulterated love of apples.