Perhaps more than any other food, charoset, the delicious fruit-and-nut paste eaten at the Passover seder, tells the story of the Diaspora, the wandering of the Jewish people. At my own seder this symbol of the mortar used by the Jews while enslaved in Egypt is one of the most popular dishes and certainly the most widely discussed. Each year I include at least five different versions, reflecting the countries in which Jews have lived as well as my own culinary wanderings. Our must-haves are date balls from Morocco, chestnut and pine-nut charosets from Venice, and, of course, the everyday apple-and-nut charosets of central and Eastern Europe, adapted with mango, pecans, and other newer ingredients in the United States.
- 2cups pitted dates
- ½cup golden raisins
- ½cup dark raisins
- ½cup walnuts
- 1-2tablespoons sweet red Passover wine
Yield: About 60 balls
- Step 1
Process the dates, raisins, and walnuts in a food processor until the mixture is finely chopped and begins to stick together. Add enough wine to make a sticky mass. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Drop slightly rounded measuring teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined sheet. Roll each mound with moistened palms into hazelnut-size balls. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until firm.