Haroset was always one of my favorite parts of Passover. We’d eat as part of the ritual Seder meal with matzah and horseradish--and sneak a few bites while waiting through the long telling of the Exodus story. In the Eastern European Ashkenazi version, Haroset is a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, and spices. It’s crunchy yet moist, sweet but slightly tart. And delicious!
Symbolically Haroset represents the oppression of the Israelites. The apples and nuts recall the mortar the Israelites used to make bricks in Egypt. It’s a reminder that the Jewish tradition is founded on an experience of forced labor and back breaking physical work. It is a reminder that once we were slaves. And yet Haroset is sweet, a welcome addition to the dry cracked matzah that we are required to eat. It is sweet to recall the exhilaration of liberation and the promise of true freedom.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1 cup Walnuts
3 cup Apples—crisp red apples work best like Gala or Fuji (cored, but peel on)
1 tablespoon Cinnamon (estimate, add as needed)
2 tablespoons Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine (estimate add as needed)
1. Roughly chop walnuts using a wooden bowl and chopping knife. You want walnut chunks to be about an 1/8 inch and do not over chop! (If using a food processor, pulse very carefully)
2. In a separate bowl chop the apples into 1/8 inch or smaller pieces. Again you don’t want to over chop and try to avoid creating apple sauce.
3. Combine apples and walnuts
4. Add cinnamon to taste, mix thoroughly
5. Add Manischewitz wine to taste
6. Serve chilled on Matzah, crackers, or by itself.
This year as we celebrate the story of the exodus from Egypt, let us remember all those who have yet to taste the sweetness of Haroset and who continue to toil away under coercion, in unsafe workplaces, and without the just wages they need to survive.