Who likes honey cake on Rosh Hashanah anyway?

Today is the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, a day celebrated with customs, traditional dishes, and family.

Yael Miller, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies, tackles one of those traditional foods—honey cake—and decides Rosh Hashanah might be better without it. She writes about her baking adventure for Haaretz.com, the website of Israel's oldest daily newspaper.

Honey cake is the Jewish equivalent of fruitcake on Christmas—you have it on the table just because it's supposed to be there, even though nobody really likes it (my apologies to those who do like it; I've never met one of you). I have never found a good reason for why the "traditional" honey cake must be served on Rosh Hashanah (what, just because it's made with honey?). But even so, most people would agree that honey cake is a must (or, like a blog in The Guardian put it, "almost obligatory"), for honey is a natural sweetener that brings us back to the days of old—our ancestors may not have had Splenda or refined sugar, but they most definitely had honey.

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Posted in Voices+Opinion