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8 New Fruits For The New Year


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On Rosh Hashanah we have a custom to eat a new fruit on the second night of the holiday, the only holiday that is celebrated for two days even in Israel.   Some opinions are that the two days are really one long holiday.  Yet, because there are mixed opinions we still say the “shechiyanu” blessing on the second night, even though that blessing is only used when we are doing something new for the year.  Since there is doubt on whether this blessing should be said, we keep a new fruit on the table so that we cover our bases.

When I was growing up it was always a pomegranate.  A symbol of Israel and the holiday.  Nowadays, pomegranates are readily available all year long, so we have had to get more adventurous, which I love.  I love searching out the most outrageous fruits to introduce people to and this year I have passed that passion on to the next generation.  My son, Aryeh, has put together this list for you of new fruits.  He hasn’t tried all of them, but he hopes to and he has shared a bit about each one from his research online (I only edited a little – I was super impressed).  Some are easier to find than others based on where you live.  My recommendation is to search out your local asian market for the best selection of exotic fruits.

10 New Fruits You Don’t Want To Miss by Aryeh Genger

These are some tasty fruits that you may not have heard of before.   Surprise your guests at the Rosh Hashana table

Finger Limes are tart like a lime, but sweet too.   A great combo I hope you try it.

Durian is a stinky fruit, but it is tasty too.  If you can get past the smell, it is a tasty snack.


Jackfruit looks like durian from the outside but inside tastes like a scrumptious mulberry  a fabulous new fruit for this year.

Buddahs Hand looks, smells and tastes like a lemon with FINGERS!!!  A little crazy looking, might be better for haunted house, but it will keep the kids interested and can be used like a lemon.


Rambutan is similar to lichi, but a bit more zesty and sweet.  And it is a little larger with a scary skin.


Passion Fruit is sweet, succulent and sour.  Delicate, but crunchy.  So many flavors make this a delicious treat, just scoop it out and enjoy.  I have always loved Passion Fruit as a flavor, but only tried it for the first time this Summer in Israel at a friend’s house, it is now a new favorite.

Prickly Pears or Cactus fruit have a touch skin and are sweet and seedy on the inside.  These might not be as new to many of you especially if you live in Israel, where they grown all over the place.  I had some of these picked fresh from a neighbors cactus when I was there this Summer.  I don’t enjoy them as much, the seeds are too large, but some people can’t get enough and they are pretty easy to find.


Guava you’ve probably tasted it dried but fresh is just awesome!!!

If you have had any of these fruits before let us know which ones you like in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you.


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About Tamar Genger MA, RD


Tamar lives in New York and is the mother of three amazing children, a Registered Dietitian, professor of Nutrition, and as you can probably guess, a foodie! Tamar loves to travel with her family and visits kosher restaurants wherever she goes. Although she loves the sights, she spends more time talking about the restaurants and food she ate! As a mom and a nutritionist, Tamar tries to balance her passion for healthy cooking with her insatiable desire for chocolate!




8 Responses to 8 New Fruits For The New Year

  1. Tamar, I love this piece. I struggle every year to find a ” new fruit.” I end up at latino markets and thai markets and frankly, I have only had jackfruits in a can ( filipino market) , and fresh guava, and passion fruits ( a hit in my house). Haven’t had the cactus fruit sin many years and big, when i find a buddah’s hand — I love it. Now where on earth did you find and taste durian or rambutans( I think i had one in Hawaii) and mostly- what about those limes- WOW!! where do you shop?

    • Thanks Tami – you can find most of these at Asian markets, but those fingerlings are now on Fresh Direct!!

      • avatar says: Sharon

        I recently tried durian. It’s not for the faint of heart! Besides the odor, my whole family thought it was awful. It tasted like a spoiled onion! Perhaps you have to grow up with it. I believe the rambutan will be my new fruit this year. Would love to try finger limes, but they are prohibitively expensive around me.

    • avatar says: Laurie

      I had durians, rambutans and leechees in Thailand. They were wonderful sweet tasting fruits.

  2. avatar says: Silky

    I love rambutans. I usually buy them in Chinatown where they are half the price than they are in the Jewish stores in my neighborhood.
    My mother bought a Buddha’s Hand last year. I would describe it more like an esrog than a lemon. I grated the peal and used it in baking.
    My sister was brave and bought a durian ONCE. It’s best eaten the same day it’s opened. Do you know that in some countries it is against the law to eat durian on public transportation? For a very good reason.
    Sabras or prickly pears are commonly sold here in Brooklyn. I love them and usually save them to make a “shehechiyanu” on.
    Guavas are yummy. They remind me of Snapple. I suppose that is because it taste like a combination of a few fruits.
    I think I will try passion fruit this year. My son in Israel tells me how delicious they are.
    Thanks for this nice article.

  3. Rambutan was a fruit I discovered the year we lived in Malaysia. I was fortunate enough to have a tree growing in the back yard of our home. I also loved mangosteens. Unfortunately, neither of these fruits are available in South Jersey where we live.

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