in Extra Matter

A Roman haroset

We eat a sort of jam called charoset . … There are a lot of different recipes. … It’s made with dates, figs, walnuts, olives, and bitter herbs. Anyway, the last dish is charoset, boiled egg, bitter greens, lettuce, a piece of celery and a prayer is said for everyone.

That’s from Karima Moyer-Nocchi’s book The Eternal Table: a cultural history of food in Rome, in her treatment of Roman-Jewish cuisine.[1] Of course I’m seeing haroset everywhere I look these days, not just because of the time of the year; it is a traditional – although not required – dish on the Passover table. The recipe is clearly Sephardic in origin, although I have not heard olives mentioned in this context before. And no mention of ground terracotta or bits of brick, which at one time Italian Jews did include.


  1. I imagine the translation is her own.  ↩

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