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Apr 28, 2014 06:04 PM

Post-Pesach haroset questions

Every year haroset is one of the hits of the seder, and I always make enough to spread on matza the rest of the week. And every Pesach the question arises: this is so good, so easy to make, and so much more healthful than jam, so why don't we make haroset during the rest of the year? So, does anyone out there actually do that, or do you reserve it for the sedarim and the rest of Passover only?
Other haroset questions: Use a recipe or wing it? Stick to typical Ashkenazic (apple, walnut, cinnamon, and wine, more or less) if your background is Ashkenazic, or do you dabble in other haroset traditions?
(Disclaimer: I'm curious, but I'm also writing a paper on haroset for a food-centric anthropology course.)

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  1. Most years I stick to my tried-and-true Ashkenazic chariest, but one year I decided to make about seven or eight other types. A favorite is hallaq (Persian charoset).

    1. I only have it at the Seder. I never thought about having it another time.

      I'm also not sure of it's any better for you than homade jam with no added sugar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: avitrek

        How do you make jam with no added sugar? Isn't that just fruit?

        I do think charoset sounds healthier than jam: far less sugar, the fiber of the apples, the protein and healthy fats in the nuts, even cinnamon has the reputation to lower blood sugar.

        I don't make it at other times, but I often do finish it off after Pesach.

      2. I stick to the basic ashkenazic formula but with a little twist. If I do apple, walnut, cinnamon and wine I first candy the walnut by toasting it in oil and then tossing it in cinnamon-sugar. other years I've done dried apple-almond instead of fresh apple-walnut.

        1. I've often thought I should make it during the year, but don't. I make three types of charoset; the Ashkenazic apple (because that's where I came from), a Moroccan recipe from a Claudia Roden book with dates, cloves and cinnamon, and the third is a recipe that was inside a solicitation a few years ago that was titled "Israeli Charoset". That recipe features apricots, dates, raisins, toasted almonds with cinnamon and ginger. Did the last two just for fun and I like to explore other culinary traditions within the Jewish world. It occurred to me that the last one would be great with a cheese and cracker assortment.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sharonfl

            For me, just another one of the traditions that is for one week of the year. Once you have it during the year, you lose all the excitement and everything that goes with it for the seder night.
            We have a traditional Sephardic charoset and I wing it until it smells right.
            1 lb of fresh dates
            1 grated apple
            Pomegranate Juice
            Around 4/5 oz's each of ground almonds, walnuts, filberts.
            Ground ginger, Ground All spice, Cinnamon. All to taste, and sorry but I dont measure, and just keep adding until I think it smells right.

            I then roll it into balls, which are fairly dense. Seder night we mix it into a paste with red wine vinegar and spread it on the romaine, and sandwich at seder.

            1. re: njkosher

              Agreed! I like to save certain foods for certain holidays. i want to keep them special.

          2. Our charoset is basically cooked, strained dates. After the Seder we eat it on matza or mixed into yogurt. After Passover, I use the leftovers in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or in a pita with cream cheese (for my daughter).

            6 Replies
            1. re: cheesecake17

              Thanks, all, and a follow-up question. For those of you who make Sephardi or Sephardi-influenced haroset: is that your family tradition, or is your background Ashkenazic but you're dipping into Sephardi tradition, perhaps to add other flavors to the seder?

                1. re: JRBlack

                  My background is Ashkenazic, but I like to see what others communities ate during the holidays so I make Sephardi haroset along with the traditional apple.

                  1. re: JRBlack

                    The former. Jews from Syria and Turkey

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Sephardic from Libya, my wife is ashkenaz