Updated: Jan 18
In honor of Tu B’shvat, there is a long-standing tradition to eat fruits and grains native to the land of Israel, called the seven biblical species or Shiv'at Haminim. So, we adjusted the Top 5 to a Top 7 this week for you to find out more!
Israel’s ancient agricultural holiday, Shavuot, coincides with the wheat harvest and continues to mark the beginning of the wheat harvest even in modern Israel.
Considered one of the most important grains of the ancient world, wheat has now taken over for barley as the primary bread grain of Israel. But we haven't forgotten about barley. You can find this old grain in Israel’s emerging craft beer industry! Over the last two decades, craft brewing in Israel has grown into hundreds of different beers across the country... and counting!
Fig trees are native to the land of Israel, and it is one of the first plants to be cultivated by humans. Their sticky-sweet fruit is used for medicinal purposes as well as for eating. Many cities have fruit trees planted in public areas. If you're lucky you might come across a fig tree and you can pick some fresh figs to eat right there!
Grown all over the north of Israel, pomegranate trees make up over 2,500 hectares of Israel’s agricultural land, and out of the 60,000 tons harvested, almost half are earmarked for export. Think about it, Israeli pomegranates have probably traveled the world more than you have!
Did you know that in Israel, it’s against the law to cut down a living olive tree? Native to the region, olive trees are deeply respected in Israel and are grown in areas all across the country.
There are 35 commercial wineries in Israel and over 250 boutique wineries across the state producing an average of 36 million bottles of wine every year. Now that’s a reason for celebration. L’chaim!
One of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world, a 2000-year-old Judean date palm seed called ‘Methuselah’ was found and germinated in Jerusalem in 2005, and is now over 3 meters (10 feet) tall and pollinating modern date palms at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel. The tree is a testament to Israel's advanced archaeological and agricultural industries.
It has become customary to eat other fruit on Tu B’shvat in Israel, besides the Shivat Haminim, specifically fruits that are native to Israel’s land, such as carobs, almonds, cherry tomatoes, and various citrus fruit. The fruits are typically eaten during the festive Tu B’shvat seder (feast).