Typically we celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah’s burning oil with vegetable or canola oil used for frying latkes and sufganiyot but there are other oils with stronger flavors worth exploring in non-fried treats in the spirit of the holiday. Argan nuts, which produce a very rich oil with the flavor of roasted almond, sesame and walnut, are indigenous to Morocco and widely used in the country’s cuisine. Though in recent years — after some experimentation at Kibbutz Ketura — argan trees now also growing in Israel’s desert.
When I was in second grade in Syosset, New York, my class did a unit on “ethnic” foods. We celebrated with a potluck party: Every kid brought in a dish that represented their family background. I brought noodle kugel.
You can hardly call Israeli olive oil a new product — the roots of olive trees in Israel can be tracked back at least 7,000 years, and remnants of olive oil presses dating to the 9th Century B.C.E. have been unearthed. (Olives are also one of the seven species mentioned in Deuteronomy.) But the awareness of Israeli olive oil as a flavorful and refined gourmet ingredient has increased in recent years, as oils from various regions of the country have garnered attention at international olive oil competitions.
I have always thought that there could be no better farm-to-table experience than a dinner hosted by Outstanding in the Field, an organization that brings chefs and farmers around the country together to experience the connection to the land via local and sustainable produce and artisan food-makers. The image of the long rectangular table stretched out across an open field has always represented to me the most fitting way to celebrate the fruit of the earth.
Today The Jew and the Carrot brings you two beverage stories for drinks to enjoy in your sukkah. The first installment explores Kosher wines and this afternoon, check back for the second installment to learn how to infuse rye for the holiday.
Sukkot encourages us each year to eat autumn harvest meals outside in a roughly constructed sukkah, covered with leafy fronds and decorated with the fruits of the harvest, with a view of the night sky.
From an Epicurean and symbolic perspective Rosh Hashanah is practically synonymous with honey. This year, in addition to dipping apples into honey, my family will be drinking it as well. Not in its viscous, sticky form, but as mead an alcoholic honey wine, which is a bit yeasty and light in flavor, like wheat beer or a dry white wine.