New Yorkers putting their own twists on traditional Rosh Hashanah dishes

New Yorkers putting their own twists on traditional Rosh Hashanah dishes

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NEW YORK — The Jewish New Year begins Sunday night.

Rosh Hashanah is two days long and celebrates the creation of the world, and some New Yorkers CBS2’s Lisa Rozner spoke to are creating new experiences to celebrate seeing more family and friends again in person.

Mark Strausman, chef and owner of Mark’s Off Madison, makes a signature dish his grandmother always made on Rosh Hashanah. He says it’s “kind of like a Jewish meatball,” but it’s actually stuffed cabbage.

“There’s also raisins in the sauce because we want it nice and sweet,” he said.

Sweet for a “sweet” Jewish New Year ahead.

Strausman, who grew up in Flushing, Queens, felt a calling to tweak his family’s recipes after years of training in the fine dining world at five-star hotels across Europe.

“To pay homage to my parents, for what they did, they sacrificed. My mother bought the plane ticket for me to go to Europe to work,” Strausman said.

On Sunday and Monday, for the 30th year, Strausman will churn out 20 stuffed cabbages at a time, briskets, chicken soup, homemade macaroons and even bagels for other families to enjoy from his restaurant.

It is tradition to take apples and dip it in honey, again signifying the hope for a “sweet” new year, but chef and Woodmere resident Naomi Nachman is giving families ideas on to switch up the sweetness this year

“You can, like, make it a little bit trendier by making it with sprinkles,” she said. “And then of course, fruit, a little dip, some honey and some fruit makes everything pop.”

New products include Manischewitz apple butter and premade Gefen apple cake, but date products are also popular.

“I happen to use a lot of the date syrup in some of my marinades in place of honey. It just adds a really, like, deeper, richer flavor,” Nachman said.

At Breads Bakery, thousands of apple challahs are being made every day.

“This year, we really went all out with a full baked apple inside the challah,” owner Gadi Peleg said. “During this time, the challah goes from sort of a straight loaf to a round loaf, and the apple challah is round, and it’s this idea of coming back to this place again, which is the beginning of the year.”

Only for the High Holy Day period, which lasts 10 days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, does the bakery sell its apple challah and honey made by worker bees on a roof in Union Square.

“We all wish each other a shanah tovah u’metukah, means a happy and a sweet new year,” Peleg said.

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