Recipe – Jewish

Sephardic Haroset

8 oz pitted dates

2 apples, peeled and finely chopped

wine and honey to moisten

8 oz of dark raisins

¼ cup chopped nuts

Ashkenazi Haroset

4 pared apples 1 cup chopped walnuts or mixed nuts

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

4 tablespoons of grape wine or grape juice

Betsy makes the Jewish dish haroset, every year for the holiday Passover.  She said that the dish itself represents the brick that the Jewish slaves had to create and use for King Pharaoh of Egypt before Moses freed them.  Betsy claims, “Haroset is only served during Passover, not any other time of the year.”  The dish actually dose look like it can be mixed and made into brick but in fact is very sweet.  Betsy learned this recipe from her mother, who learned it from her mother, as the tradition is to pass it down from mother to daughter.  Betsy uses the Ashkenazi recipe above, not the Sephardic recipe because she is an Ashkenazi Jew; however, she says that she is not sure what the difference is between Ashkenazis and Sephardics.  She was taught both recipes in case of having a Sephardic Jew over for Passover; in that case, she would make both recipes.  When making this part of the Passover meal, it reminds Betsy of the springtime with her family, particularly her children who love her haroset.

After discussing with several Jewish Americans the difference between Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazi Jews, there seems to be a consensus that Ashkenazi Jews came from the Eastern part of Europe, such as Russia and Germany, while the Sephardic Jews came from Spain and Portugal.  As far as the meaning behind haroset, it is universal and is not just Betsy’s individual meaning.  At the Passover Seder, there are several dishes that hold representation to the Jewish slavery in Egypt.  I personally have taken part in many Seder’s and have had haroset, and before each dish is eaten there is a prayer and explanation behind the dish told to the entire table.