New Fruit for the Jewish New Year

Dragon FruitWith the coming of Rosh Hashanah, many Jewish families will be looking for a new fruit to eat during the holiday. This is because it is traditional on the second day of Rosh Hashanah to have a new fruit, one that has not been eaten yet this season, on the table when lighting the candles and reciting the Kiddush prayer over the meals signifying the sanctity of the day. Then after Kiddush, the blessing for fruit is recited and the fruit is eaten. Well this season there are many new exotic fruit varieties that are making their appearances on the shelves of Fairway Market to choose from.

One of the most eye-catching fruits that you will soon notice gracing the shelves at Fairway is the dragon fruit (pictured here). The dragon fruit is named as such because of the appearance of the fruit. The rind of the fruit looks as if it has big green scales growing out of it, and usually the fruit is a dark red color, but it can also be found in a yellow or pink color. The nutritional benefits of this fruit are making it a very popular choice among many people. Dragon fruit is abundant with antioxidants which can help in minimizing free radical damage in the body, and has immune boosting vitamin C. Other nutrients found in dragon fruit are vitamins B1, B2, and B3, which can help with energy production in our bodies. This fruit is also a good source of phosphorus and calcium, which are helpful to bones and muscles.

Another eye catching fruit is the star fruit, which also gets its name from the shape and appearance of the fruit. The fruit has a five-pointed star shape, is juicy, crunchy, and can be eaten skin, seeds and all. There are two varieties that are found in markets, one sour and one slightly sweet, but the tastes and appearance are hardly distinguishable between the two of them. The taste is like a cross between an apple and a grape. As for its nutrition, the star fruit is a great source of vitamins A, C, and dietary fiber.

Prickly pears, sometimes referred to as Sabra, are a wonderful exotic fruit. They are fantastic when eaten fresh, when used in juices, or when used to make a jelly or marmalade. They are low in sodium, cholesterol, and naturally low in saturated fats. Prickly pears are a good source of calcium and potassium, and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. The prickly pear is a heavily researched fruit and there are many ongoing studies looking at the possible medicinal uses of the prickly pear extract for type 2 diabetes, but further study is needed.

These are just three of the many exotic fruits that are on the shelves at Fairway Market this season. I encourage everyone, weather you are celebrating Rosh Hashanah or not to take your time as you go through the fruit section of the market and discover the fruits that are available. You will probably find a new favorite or get reacquainted with a fruit you have not had in a while. Either way you won’t be disappointed.

What’s your favorite exotic fruit?

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One Response to “New Fruit for the Jewish New Year”

  1. September 28, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    What a cool tradition! I think quince is my favorite–some of the jam/jelly spread over toasted bread topped with a little Manchego is one of my favorite afternoon snacks. And while I wouldn’t count figs as being exotic, I do consider them special (given how short their season is) and we incorporated them into a lovely sauce last weekend for the first time this season.

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