Tsimis Recipe and Rosh Hashanah Memories

How do you spell “tzimmis?” This question may stir up as much debate as the National Spelling Bee’s spelling of “knaidel.” Or “kneydl” according to YIVO, the go-to source for all things Yiddish. (Which is why we’re trying all of the “tsimmes” spelling variations in this blog post.) Also controversial: How do you prepare this savory dish? Just carrots, carrots and sweet potatoes, with dried fruit or meat or some other variation?

Delicious tzimmis

Delicious tzimmis

That said, one thing we can all agree on is that this delicious  food conjures up Rosh Hashanah and family memories for many a person. Historian Richard Rabinowitz’s mother’s family always made a tsimis of merren (carrot) sweetened with honey .  He recalls: “The word “tzimis” in Yiddish also means ‘more.’ For our family, the consumption of tsimmos was a kind of folkloric prayer for (more) fertility and prosperity. Honey was always a key ingredient. This led my mother to reflect on the importance of birth control and abortion rights at the Rosh Hashanah table. ”

However, you like your tzimiss (or its spelling), we hope you have a joyous and sweet New Year. This recipe will ensure it is a delicious one.




1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut carrots into 2-inch pieces. Bring a
large saucepan of water to a boil, and lower heat to medium; add sweet
potatoes in their skins, and cook for 20 minutes, adding the carrots
after 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, and set aside until cool enough
to handle.

2. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl
along with carrots and remaining ingredients. Mix well, and transfer
to a 2-quart baking dish.

3. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices
after 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.

Categories: Blog, Jewish History, Recipes

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