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Welcoming Rosh Hashanah With Honey And Apples

Rosh Hashanah began at sundown, and with it comes traditional foods like apples, pomegranates and honey.


Photo: Avital Pinnick (Flickr)

The challah bread served during Rosh Hashanah is braided in a spiral with raisins.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, began at sunset and lasts for two days.

Traditional Foods

Welcoming the new year involves traditional foods like honey, apples and pomegranates. Honey is eaten for a sweeter new year, apples represent creation and fall, and tradition holds that pomegranates have exactly 613 seeds, representing the 613 “Mitzvot” or commandments in the Torah. Carrots are sliced into coins and represent prosperity.

Apples may be dipped in honey, or honey cake is served.

Fish heads are also traditional at some Rosh Hashanah observances.

“The head symbolises the head of the new year, and diners hope that the next year will be as plentiful as the fish in the sea,” London food writer Denise Phillips said.

“It’s to show that we should be leaders and not followers — we should be the head and not the tail,” Chicago rabbi Asher Lopatin said.

Rising Global Prices

Prices have risen on some staple foods this year, like apples and pomegranates, but it hasn’t stopped people from celebrating.

“It’s a trade-off. We’ll have it all but a little less of everything,” Detroit-area resident Ronit Lipsky said as she shopped for apples.

Apples have gone up 27 cents since last quarter, honey up around 30 cents, and pomegranates have nearly doubled in price.

Read More:

  • Rosh Hashanah: Jewish new year food (Guardian)
  • At the Rosh Hashana table: Honey, there’s symbolism in fish heads (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Food prices for Jewish holy days to take bite out of wallet (The Detroit News)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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