Thursday, May 28, 2020

We all want to have a sweet new year. But once you’ve dipped the apple in the honey, what else is there to sweeten your Rosh Hashanah table? Israel offers a range of delectable possibilities.

Israel is known as the land of milk and honey. But did you know that the “honey” referred to in the Torah is not actually the product of bees that we think of as honey? It really refers to date honey. Date honey, otherwise known as silan, is widely available and quite delicious. If you’re looking for Israeli silan, then Galil Silan is available online with international shipping www.galilco.com.

If you want to get one step closer to nature you can always try dates themselves. Israel hosts some marvelous date farms. The big fat Medjool dates are bursting with sweetness. In Israel you can pick them up from the local supermarket, but the Lior brand sells a range of sizes via Amazon, including a handy eight-pack of individual date cups so everyone can have their own.

The fields of Israel produce a bounty of excellent produce resulting in an abundance of high-quality homegrown wines. The award-winning Yarden Heights wine is sweet enough to be the dessert course by itself. Rich and slightly fruity but with great acidity to take the edge off the sweetness, even an unseasoned drinker will appreciate it. (If you want to impress your guests, you can comment on the wonderful tropical aromas of lychee and pineapple with just a touch of honey.) For a lighter wine, another fantastic choice is the sweet, bubbly Hermon Moscato. With low alcohol content, it’s very drinkable with a main course as well as dessert.

If red wines are more your taste, there is still plentiful choice available. The Yarden T2 is an intriguing blend of two famous Portuguese grapes, now grown in Israel. With cherry, plum and mulberry notes, this attractive wine has good body and is highly drinkable.

For a dry wine, the Galil Viognier has a hint of sweetness and fruit undertones and is the perfect accompaniment to a fruit starter. Thanks to a surge of international interest in Israeli wines, all these listed are readily available in good wine stores in Europe and across North America.

De Karina handmade chocolates are one of Israel’s best-kept secrets. From their factory in Ein Zivan in the Golan Heights, the chocolatiers at De Karina are raising the bar in Israeli confectionary. Their creations are available throughout Israel, including both dairy and dairy-free (parve) options. Check out www.de-karina.co.il for exact locations.

However you toast Rosh Hashanah, whether with wonderful wines or juicy dates, we’re wishing you and your family a happy healthy new year.

By Rachel Gross