The Twelve Fruits of the Tu B'shvat Seder

Because Tu B’Shvat falls on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shvat, some people try to eat 15 kinds of fruit, all with symbolic meaning for the day. Here are our suggestions!

 

Wheat

A nourishing grain, wheat can be eaten in the form of bread or wheat-snacks during the Tu B’shvat seder, and is one of two of the seven species that are not considered a fruit.

A field of wheat

Olives

The olive tree remains one of Israel’s oldest native trees. It can grow even in poor conditions, and never loses its leaves!


A large and old olive tree in an olive orchard

Dates

Dates are native to Israel. Their honey is the sweet silan you find in every Israeli supermarket. Delicious in yogurt, and especially in muesli.


A bowl of dried dates

Grapes

Consumed in the form of wine during the seder, grapes have been grown in Israel for wine for millennia.


A man holding a large cluster of black grapes in his hands

Figs

One of the oldest fruits in the land of Israel, the fig is believed by some people to be the tree of “national Israel”


A fresh fig sliced in half

Pomegranates

The pomegranate grows throughout Israel and is most popularly eaten on Rosh Hashana, the Hebrew New Year.


A stack of ripe pomegranates

Etrogim, Hebrew for “citrons.”

This fruit is used on Sukkot, another agricultural holiday in the Hebrew calendar celebrating the harvest, the Etrog symbolizes the holiday marking the end of the agricultural year in the Land of Israel.


4 etrogs laying on a pile of palm branches

Sabra

This cactus fruit is also a name for a born native Israeli. Its hard prickly shell protects its sweet fruit interior.


A cactus covered in sabra fruits

Citrus

Still one of Israel’s largest agricultural exports, citrus fruit in Israel has been popular since the early 1920s.


a hand holding a sliced orange

Almonds

Considered one of the “choicest” fruits of the land of Israel. Almond trees need a lot of water to bear fruit and therefore are considered a luxury.

A bag filled with almonds

Carobs

Carob trees take many years to grow (around 70). We eat carob on Tu B’shvat to symbolize the longevity and the belief that our descendants will benefit from the fruit of our labor.


A small pile of carob

Cherry Tomato

An example of early Israeli innovation, the cherry tomato is a pop of sweetness.

Small round cherry tomatoes

Happy Tu B'shvat!