Every year Jews from around the world congregate to celebrate Passover with a Seder. The evening begins with the reading of the Haggadah, which tells the story of how the enslaved Jews escaped Egypt. Along with the four cups of wine, the table is adorned with a Seder plate that includes a number of symbolic items. There are bitter herbs to commemorate the bitterness of their enslavement in Egypt, a roasted shank bone to remember the lamb offering, and spring herbs that are dipped into salt water to remind us of the tears that were shed. But what gets most of the attention on the Seder plate is the sweet charoset.
Charoset is a symbol of the mortar that the Jewish slaves used. It is one dish that kids and adults alike look forward to each year for its sweet nutty goodness. Charoset is a sweet relish of fruit and nuts that is bound together with honey and a bit of Passover wine. It has many different spellings and just as many versions, depending upon the country where you live.
Ashkenazi (eastern European) Jews make a simple apple and nut mix. Sephardic Jews (Spanish, Asian and African) enjoy their charoset with roasted mixed nuts and dried fruit, and it is often cooked. It looks like fruit compote with nuts. Jews from other countries add chilies, spices and even chestnuts.
For the Seriously Simple recipe, click here.