Hello dear readers,
I know that many of you love the recipes that I post on my blog. The Sweet-and-Sour Duck is the most shared recipe from the site, and the Spicy Quinoa still gets rave reviews. (Hopefully I’ll be posting a new recipe next week – it’s an oriental twist on lasagna!)
But I was just thinking: Even though Sukkot is one of the shalosh regalim (along with Pesach and Shavuot), there isn’t really a food or cuisine really associated with the holiday. There’s apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, dairy for Shavuot, no chametz for Pesach. There’s even hamentaschen on Purim and latkes for Chanukah, but Sukkot has nothing. Why is that?
As far as my research has gone, I haven’t identified a signature Sukkot dish. However, dear readers, I will share some thoughts with you about traditional Sukkot dishes and our family Sukkot culinary practices! (But if you’re waiting for the recipe, check back next week. And you might want to pick up some star anise if you can…)
Okay, so as we said, while there are no official Sukkot dishes, we do have some clues, particularly in the alternate names of the holiday that could give you a pointer in the right direction. One synonym for Sukkot is Zman Simchateinu, or The Time of Our Happiness. And with Simcha, or Happiness, I bet there’s an idea that jumps right out at you: Ein Simcha Ella b’Basar v’Yayin, or, There’s no happiness except with meat and with wine. Even though this quote doesn’t actually exist (Rav Yehuda ben Beteira was talking about temple times; see Masechet Pesachim 119a), the idea is still sound. Sukkot is a happy time, so celebrate with good food and wine!
Another name for the holiday is Chag Ha’Asif, or the Festival of the Harvest. Sukkot has a very agricultural feel to it, and that sensation shouldn’t be limited to the times you shake the lulav and etrog. Make your table feel harvest-y! In our sukkah, we always have fruit for dessert (usually in beautiful fruit salads that Ronit prepares, but we also bake things like apple pies).
In a similar vein, since on Sukkot we are celebrating a (hopefully bountiful!) harvest, there is a tradition to have stuffed foods. We should be blessed to have an abundance of produce, and that’s why some have a tradition of having stuffed foods (grape leaves, stuffed cabbage). Yum!
Lastly, one family tradition that we have for sukkot is…fondue! We started this years and years ago when Aryeh was inspired one sukkot to dig the fondue set out of the attic (he says he remembers seeing a fondue scene in a movie that was showing on TV, but doesn’t remember which one. I haven’t found it, either. Can anyone think of a movie with fondue???). So every year, after shul on Hoshanna Rabbah, we do fondue in the sukkah. That’s the Silver family tradition 🙂
I don’t know if they’ll have fondue in our kosher sukkot hotel in Italy, but even if they don’t, I’m looking forward to delicious meals. As much as I love traditions, this sukkot I definitely won’t be missing the tradition of me cooking fancy meals for a week!
When you travel with your family for Sukkot this year, we at Leisure Time Tours hope you create some new family traditions of your own. Contact us at 718-528-0700 to learn more about how we can take the hard work out of planning your Sukkot family vacation.