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Confused about Haroseth


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Please pardon the horrible photos - they were taken with my iPhone.

But I was shopping in one of the NJ branches of Garden of Eden, where the prepared foods case had been made over into a "wonderland" of foods for the Jewish Holidays, when I spied this:


as part of the display:


Now, I'm not "observant" at all - but isn't Haroseth from the wrong holiday ???

I know this is not as good as last year's Balducci's Hannukah Ham, but it set me wondering...

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I'm Jewish and the only time I've ever had it was @ Passover!!

eta: 6.99lb for baby carrots????  Puhlease!!

Thats the Jersey price, wait till you get to NYC


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers


Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Haroset is a Passover food, meant to symbolize the mortar used by slaves in Egypt. However, it's not wrong to eat it at other times of year.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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one of the characteristics of jewish food that i find delightful, is the way each holiday has its own specialities, even when they are dishes you don't even like, you eat it once a year and you're like: omigod this tastes just like the holiday.

fat guy is right that its not forbidden to eat harosets/charosetz/etc at any other time of the year, but it doesn't taste right, and as he explained, its symbolistic meaning fits pesach, doesn't match rosh hashana...rosh hashana is about a sweet new year.....sweetness, dip apples in honey, serve a glaceed-fruit-studded challah, make a nice little honey cake...tzimmes (carrots, prunes, meat, etc)

then there are those ashkenazi staples good for all celebrations: kugel, knaidlach, chopped liver! the sephardim have a wide variety of their own special foods, for each holiday. their harosets are divine and varied. but still, harosets is all about pesach and vise versa.

but you know what: i think its sweet that whoever made the display cared enough to go all out, albeit they should have done a little more homework to set the mood and inspire confidence.....

have a happy sweet new year, to all, jews and non-jews!


ps: did balducchi's really offer a Hanukka Ham?

Marlena the spieler


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ps: did balducchi's really offer a Hanukka Ham?

Yes. :wacko:

(edited to link to a page with all three examples)

Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's Passover food for sure. I never tried eating it at another time, though I always like it a lot, my aunt chops walnuts apples and and mixes it with Manishevitz concord grape wine. Yum! Another thing like that is apples dipped in honey, normally eaten at Rosh Hashana, and it's so good, but we just never have it other times of the year.

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How about you give yourself permission to make something yummy with chopped apples (and/or pears, since they are in season now) and nuts and dried fruits and honey and whatever you like--poached or doused in a nice spicy red wine or a splash of cassis--and call it Fall Compote? No worries.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, everyone's made the point about Charoseth being a traditional element at the Passover meal ... I'm not sure I'd consider it a food; it's more like a condiment, certainly not meant to be eaten in large quantities. Yes, I suppose you could eat it all year round, but then, just like matzah, observant Jews don't eat matzah for a period of time before Passover, so the eating at Passover will be unique and symbolic.

Looking at the photo, I'm not certain it is charoseth ... looks more like tsimmis (cooked carrots) rather than an apple, nuts and wine mix ...

For those who have a copy of Copeland Marks' magnum opus, Separdic Cooking, there are at least 8 versions of Charoseth, corresponding to different points along the Mediterranean Basin and along the Silk Road where Jews stopped and took up residence ... I used to make up at least 4 for our seders, so people could see how the concept and taste of Charoseth varied over time and space. If I remember correctly, there were Greek, Georgian, Ukrainian, Yemeni, Persian, Iraqi, Khazakstani (or Uzbecki?), and Indian (from the Benei Yisroel of Calcutta) variants ... in his book on the Mahgreb (Africa north of the Sahara), he provided Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian haroseth recipes ...

Really love his books ... he was the Indiana Jones of cuisine!!

Edited by JasonZ (log)


Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Haroset is a Passover food, meant to symbolize the mortar used by slaves in Egypt. However, it's not wrong to eat it at other times of year.

Passover in the US starts on farms about now. It got me thinking about how apples became the centerpiece of this dish. I'm sure dates or raisins would be much more historically correct. I love the stuff and in a few weeks it will be made here because our apples will only last so long.

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