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Oct 11, 2011 12:32 PM

What did Bubbie serve for a pri chadash?

Looking at the array of sapodilla and lychee arrayed in the markets makes me ask, what did Bubbie do?

Seriously. Does anyone know how this worked in the olden days? In Krakow or Fez? There is no one in my family old enough to ask, and I can think of two possibilities.

1.) There was an exotic dried fruit, like dates or figs, that was imported from far away and purchased especially for the second day of the chag.

2.) There was something just coming into season, as pears or apples would have been in Poland at Sukkot, and they waited and ate the first one on the second day.

I know Bubbie didn't serve fresh papaya flown in from Mexico. And I am genuinely curious.

My guess would be that they waited for the second day of a chag to enjoy the first bite of something that was just coming into season, but I would like to know.

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  1. A) Based on a short story I read....Oranges were a pretty rare item in Poland.

    B) Maybe they just went without

    I'm guessing that they used whatever was available...and also the shechiyanu could also be on new clothing.

    4 Replies
    1. re: vallevin

      Oranges. I wonder if that was what Americans used. Until the 1950's, they were rare and expensive.

      Could Europeans have been using Jaffa oranges by the early 1900's? the yishuv was certainly exporting crates of them. But, when is the harvest? Isn't it in winter?

      Talk about a post-agricultural society. I don't even know when the orange harvest is in Israel.

      1. re: AdinaA

        Fruit was actually seasonal prior to say, 1950, heck even probably 1970. So you ate fruit for the first time because it was available for the first time.

        1. re: AdinaA

          I can't speak for the early 1900s, but in 1932 my late cousin, Max, ran an orange grove near Jaffa and shipped to Bialystock, Krakow, Lodz and Vilna. In 1993 I had spoken about this with the late Baal Koreh at our shul. He was born in Vilna in 1915 and left for the US in 1938. He said that they usually would try to get a Mandarin orange that was very small and very expensive. But there were enough tiny section for his parents and siblings all to share in the one blessing.

          1. re: AdinaA

            First oranges of the season appeared in the stores here in Israel a couple of weeks ago - still pretty sour, tho. And it's questionable whether, in the olden days, they would have made it to Europe in time for Sukkot.
            Chag Sameach!

        2. We always got a new dress or at least new socks. The most exotic food we had was honey from Israel.