Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Charoset. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 8


Passover began last night, and there are many traditional dishes that will appear on Seder tables this week. Life events here changed my plans to host a seder, but I've been peering over various recipes, so I'll share some for this week's part of the 100 Day Challenge.

On the Seder table, charoset represents the mortar used by slaves in Egypt. The word 'charoset' comes from the Hebrew word cheres, which means clay. No wonder it's always been my favorite dish on the table!

Over the years and in the various cities where I've lived, I've enjoyed the hospitality of many different Seder meals, and while the traditional dishes are always on the table, each cook will impart a unique twist on most recipes. This is I think doubly true for charoset. 
my chunky charoset
The base ingredients of charoset are basically fruit, nuts, spices, and sweet wine with perhaps some other sweeteners. Apples are almost always included, sometimes with dates, figs, raisins, sometimes just the apples. Some include walnuts, others almonds. Some just cinnamon, others add cloves, or ginger. Some use honey, others might include brown sugar. Sweet, red table wine is most often a staple, but apple cider vinegar can also be used. The possibilities are endless!

For this simple version, I pretty much eye-balled it for the ingredients on hand, so forgive the lack of an exact recipe - if you look them up, you'll see how basic it is and you can create a version based on your own tastes. For mine, I've used pink lady and gala apples, with walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, fresh grated ginger, honey, and apple cider vinegar. I like a chunkier version, because I like to eat it by itself, but I'll also chop some up finer so it sits nicely on a matzoh. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover, and a coming Happy Easter!

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