The Jewish new year inspires pastry chefs -- and even gelato makers -- to go all out with special breads (hallot), cakes, pies and sweets for the holiday. By and large, these creations revolve around the traditional foods eaten to symbolize the wish for a “sweet year” to come: honey, apples and pomegranates.
Below is a list of just a few select places offering irresistible treats that will not fail to brighten your annual celebration. (Two of them were actually also featured in our recent “sweet and cool spots for summer” roundup.) All of them use kosher ingredients, but they cannot qualify for rabbinic certification because they are open on Shabbat. As usual, they are not ranked, but listed in alphabetical order.
This premium “gelato factory and yogurteria” has the added benefit that its desserts will keep you cool as our endless hot summer extends into the month of Tishrei. The fact that it already offers more than 70 flavors in its nationwide locations did not prevent it from coming up with a Rosh Hashanah collection comprising three new flavors:
Pomegranate sorbet, made from fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice
Pomegranate frozen yogurt -- goat’s milk yogurt flavored with fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, and accompanied by a variety of fruit and/or other optional toppings
Honey crumble ice cream -- honey-flavored ice cream mixed with a crumble of crunchy honeycomb
As a holiday bonus, anyone purchasing a kilogram or more of ice cream will receive a complimentary jar of Ilan honey, from the Ilan hives on the Golan Heights. The chain will even deliver.
Leggenda. 15 outlets throughout the country.
Israel is one of the few foreign countries to be blessed with outposts of the elite boulangerie and patisserie chain of French master baker Eric Kayser, whose outlets are found in countless neighborhoods of Paris, including Charles de Gaulle airport. Maison Kayser’s exquisite baguettes and desserts are also served in the company’s sole bistro in the world, fortuitously located in downtown Tel Aviv.
In honor of Rosh Hashanah, the chain has rolled out an impressive line of both bread and pastry/sweet products. In the former category are pomegranate hallah (available every weekend of September) and apple sourdough bread; the latter category, meanwhile, includes not only cakes (like honey pecan and apple with Calvados) but also pies (honey, as well as caramelized apple), honey cookies, and even macaroons -- pomegranate with vanilla and honey ganaches. These goodies come in a variety of sizes, from personal -- like the Jalousie Pomme -- to intermediate and large, suitable for families.
Finally, there are two non-baked sweets: pomegranate and coconut marshmallows, and apple marmalade.
Maison Kayser. Two locations: 7 Rothschild Blvd. and Namal Tel Aviv (Hangar 24-25).
Marie Antoinette is the brainchild of Chef Shahar Levi, who was the runner-up in the second season of the popular cooking competition television show, MasterChef. His innovation, in collaboration with Avishay Bador, is creating fluffy, buttery mini-brioches stuffed with a wide range of both savory and sweet fillings. The bakery also produces a line of piquant and sweet dipping sauces that accompany the unusual pastries, which resemble cupcakes or muffins.
In honor of Rosh Hashanah, Marie Atoinette has introduced a new item in each category: brioche stuffed with chraime, a mild version of the spicy Moroccan Jewish fish dish that is served on Shabbat eves and holidays; and another featuring the succulent filling familiar from apple strudel: apples, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins. There are also two special salads for the holiday.
These goodies can be picked up or delivered in amounts of 6-12 brioches packed in stunningly decorated and amusing pink boxes. There are also gift baskets with wine that can be sent to friends and relatives. Orders place directly from the Marie Antoinette website are eligible for a 10% discount.
Marie Antoinette. 8 Ibn Gvirol St., Tel Aviv.
As we noted in the aforementioned summer roundup of sweet and cool spots, Mimi is a fast-growing chain of cafes-cum-patisseries that has been expanding southwards from the Sharon region. It is a popular place for eating in, as well as taking sandwiches and baked goods home.
For the upcoming holiday, Mimi has unveiled no fewer than seven special treats, ranging from incredibly photogenic fancy to familiar unadorned loaves. The offerings include:
Five different apple creations: Apple Crown Cake, Caramelized Apple Tatin, Calvados Apple Babka, Apple Strudel and Apple Almond Cream Crunch.
Fig-Pomegranate Tart with creme patissiere
Citrus Honey Cake, in two sizes
Neither the tatin nor the honey cakes contain any wheat flour.
Mimi. Four locations in Tel Aviv and the northern suburbs. Tel. (09) 835-3600.
First published: 14:44, 09.02.21