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Decoded Dinner

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish version of New Year’s Eve, but the festive meal served during the holiday is the Jewish culinary rival to an American Thanksgiving — it also includes slow-cooking a big hunk of meat (brisket) and preparing copious and scrumptuous side dishes. The new year is a time to start anew, and the foods we eat symbolize our wish for happiness, health, and an overall good year to come.

This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 12, so you have about a week and a half to plan your menu. To help, we’ve put together an interactive dinner table with a menu full of symbolic ingredients. The challenge in formulating a Rosh Hashanah menu is similar to that of Thanksgiving—coming up with something that fulfills the tradition but still surprises dinner guests. We’ve assembled a potpourri of old-fashioned and nouveau recipes. Sweet flavors are paramount in this menu to signify the hope for a sweet new year. Since Rosh Hashanaha is observed over two days, there are two special meals to serve, so cook a lot and plan ahead.

Click the dishes you see on the table to reveal their symbolic meaning. Then click the black box below to go to recipes, chef Q&As, leftover ideas, and resources for more information on the holiday.

Here’s to a sweet new year!

And stay tuned to Pickled as our Budget Baleboosteh prepares her first Rosh Hashanah dinner party with selected dishes from this table.

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