Many people know about the custom of eating apples dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah, but there are many more food-related customs for the Jewish New Year. Sweet foods are popular, to symbolize the sweet year we hope will follow. In the Sephardic community, many families hold a Rosh Hashanah seder where a series of symbolic foods are eaten before the meal.
Each of the chosen foods —generally a pomegranate, date, string bean, beet, pumpkin, leek, and fish head — symbolize a wish or blessing for prosperity and health in the coming year. The food’s significance is most often based on a pun of that food’s name.
Rosh Hashanah Recipes
Rosh Hashanah Appetizers and Entrees
Brisket, a traditional cut of meat on Rosh Hashanah
Seitan Brisket, a vegetarian alternative to brisket
Pomegranate Chicken, a sweet and tangy entree
Rosh Hashanah Sides
Tzimmes, a hot sweet carrot dish
Fish, symbols of abundance and fertility
Rosh Hashanah Drinks and Desserts
Tayglach, dough boiled in honey
Honey Cake, a sweet treat for a sweet year
Apple Cake, seasonal apples to celebrate the holiday
Sfratti, honey walnut stick cookies
Recipes Featuring Symbolic Rosh Hashanah Foods
Pronounced: KHAH-luh, Origin: Hebrew, ceremonial bread eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
Pronounced: roshe hah-SHAH-nah, also roshe ha-shah-NAH, Origin: Hebrew, the Jewish new year.
Pronounced: seh-FAR-dik, Origin: Hebrew, describing Jews descending from the Jews of Spain.