Do you eat dried fruit on Tu Bishvat?
So why actually is it customary to eat dried fruits?
When the majority of the people of Israel were dispersed in the diaspora, the whole issue surrounding Tu B'Shvat was in emphasizing the connection of the people to their land and earth. Although this holiday does not "feel" like a religious holiday (and there is still no mitzvah to plant trees on Tu Bishvat), the mentioning of this holiday comes straight from the Jewish sources, and is mentioned back in the Rosh Hashana tractate of the Mishnah:
In simple English, there are four “new year”s in each year:
- The first of Nissan is the new year for kings and holidays.
- The first of Elul is the new year for cattle.
- The first of Tishrei is the new year of shmita, planting and vegetables, say Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi shimon
- The first of Shvat is the new year for the tree, says Beit Shamai. Beit Hillel says that it is on the fifteenth day of Shvat.
The new year for the tree is considered the determining date for the age of a tree. This was the date on which trees’ ages were calculated, from which they followed every passing year. This was needed in order to calculate and pay taxes!!! Something like our payment of annual car licensing.
Lucky for us that it has become a day of nature, environment and concern for the world ecology.J
The custom to eat dried fruit came from the desire to eat fruits grown in the Holy Land, especially those from the seven species with which the country was blessed. Because this was a widely followed custom, it was necessary to grow and preserve a great quantity of fruit. Drying was the preferred method of preservation. Eating dried fruit was the means for everyone to have sufficient fruit for the holiday.
Today? Absurdly, we still cling to the practice of eating dried fruit despite the abundance of excellent fresh fruit available to us. This makes no sense, especially as most of the dried fruit that we eat is imported from overseas.
Tu B'Shvat is indeed the New Year of the Trees, so let's honor the objects of this celebration, and not poison them (and ourselves and the earth)! As appropriate for an ecological holiday, we should be eating fresh local produce which is organic and excellent (so excellent that it is marketed abroad as a premium product), instead of eating fruits and vegetables that are poisoned with all kinds of harmful substances... and to make it worse, that are flown in from foreign countries. (My father adds that one of these countries is Turkey, which is not a friend of Israel.) Remember, another good reason to eat only organic produce, is that it is good for our environment. Aside from the harmful chemicals, spraying this produce requires raising a plane into the sky which releases hydrocarbons into the atmosphere and poisons wild animals that are diminishing in our tiny country...
As a great man said - you be the change you would like to see in the world! Your kitchen habits can make a difference.
Why should you eat organic fruits - or rather fresh organic fruits?
If our fresh fruit would lie around soothingly in the sun until they turn into dried fruits, then it would be OK. But that is not the drying process at all. What really happens is that dried fruits are heated at very high temperatures that kill their nutritional value.
In addition, they add to them substances that should be avoided. The best known substance to be avoided is sugar; In addition comes white flour to prevent adhesion, sulfur to maintain a light color, E905 (sounds appetizing, right?) for glaze, various preservatives, and all kinds of other stuff we would rather not eat. In short, it is always best to eat fresh, local, and organic (truly organic)
In honor of Tu Bishvat - organic pecans!
In honor of the holiday, we bring you fresh pecans. These delicious pecans do not have organic certification yet, but they are grown by an old time organic grower, which we trust very much. Simply, his pecan trees are not in the supervised area right now. These delicious nuts contain oleic acid (yes, the same one that is also found in olive oil) that reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as dietary fiber, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and zinc.
You can make delicious Pecan pate’ from Pecan nuts
And those who prefer sweet dishes, you can prepare the familiar classical pecan pie
And we also have organic dates from Kibbutz Samar. There is Zahidi, Dekel Nur, and Barhi – all are amazing!
Have a local and strengthening week, and a happy world-holiday.
Maggie and the garden team
We are expecting Oin our rganic vegetable baskets (draft only):
In the large organic vegetable baskets, also:
Organic fruit baskets:
In the large fruit baskets, also: