Deli, Food, Specials

For a Sweet Rosh Hashanah, Add Lots of Honey (Our 20% off Honey Sale Will Help)


A clean slate, a fresh start. There’s no time like the New Year for a healthy dose of optimism. When it comes to Rosh Hashanah, that hopefulness is symbolized by one of our favorite things: sweets! Classic sweet dishes and treats, from raisin-laced kugel to every kind of rugelach, are favorites at New Year celebrations, the idea being that with every heavenly bite, prospects for the future become sweeter and, well, sweeter.

One of the best known examples of this High Holiday tradition is the custom of dipping apples in honey. But most of the best cooks and hosts we know don’t stop there—they make sure that honey is infused throughout their Rosh Hashanah meals. Of course, at Zingerman’s, we’re also big proponents of letting the honey (Tupelo, Idaho Snowberry, Scottish Heather—we love ‘em all) flow.

It’s really amazing how many dishes honey can find its way into. Vegetables, like carrots and turnips, can be glazed for a crowd-pleasing side. Even meat dishes can get the honey treatment. Honey-baked chicken is fantastic and easy to pull off, plus you can dress it up with herbs and root veggies. One of Ari’s favorites is Lamb and Honey Stew, a staple of the deli’s special Rosh Hashanah catering menu. The Sephardic dish (see the recipe on pg. 378 of Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating if you’d like to make it yourself), isn’t too sweet, with the honey and saffron complementing each other in a deep, delicious way.


For Rosh Hashanah, challah takes on a round shape to represent the cycle of life, and it gets a little sweeter than usual, too, since, as with the apples, dipping challah in honey is also a tradition. The ones we make at the Bakehouse (Can you believe we sell 2,000 of them every New Year?!) are brushed with clover honey, and we even make one with rum-soaked raisins. If you’re a home baker, come into the deli and sample a few different jars to turn up the flavor on your own challah this year.

And if your sweet tooth is still crying out for more, we’ve got two words for you: honey cake. It’s the most enduring of traditional Rosh Hashanah desserts—there’s evidence that it’s been around since the 12th century! Spiced, rich, and nostalgic, it’s no wonder that it’s lasted so long, or that so many bakers hold fast to their beloved recipes. We take ours pretty seriously, too. We use buckwheat honey to give it big, bold flavor. Kind of like an exclamation mark at the end of the meal.

And, hey, if you want to add a little oomph to your apples and honey display, Ari has a tip for you: make it a spread. Lay out a few different varieties of apples and a couple of types of honey. “It makes for great conversation. Plus, they’re delicious!” he says.

Our honey sale starts today and lasts two whole weeks (September 26 – October 9)! Get 20% off all honey at the Deli—we have a big selection, so come and have a taste! Perfect timing for Rosh Hashana or a fall pantry stock up! Also check out our special Rosh Hashanah Catering menu here.