Tu B'shevat, the New Year for trees, is upon us once more. It has always been more of a celebration in eastern than Ashkenazi communities.
According to Aish, 16th century kabbalists, developed a seder ritual conceptually similar to the Pesah (Passover) seder, discussing the spiritual significance of fruits and of the shivat haminim. This custom spread primarily in Sephardi communities, but in recent years it has been getting more attention among Ashkenazim.
Here is a Tu b'Shevat Turkish-Jewish dessert recipe, courtesy of the Philadephia Jewish Voice:
During Tu b’Shevat, some Turkish Jews prepare a special dessert called trigo koço. “Trigo” means “wheat” in Spanish. This sweet wheat berry dish originated in the Middle East, and traveled with the Jews to Spain. Following the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the Jews took it with them to the Ottoman Empire. To this day, every guest who stops by for a Tu b’Shevat visit at their home is offered a bowl of trigo koço with a cup of hot mint tea.
- 1 1/4 cup wheat berries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. orange blossom water
- 2 tbsp. rose water
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pour the wheat berries and 4 cups of water into a heavy pot.
- Bring the water to a boil, and then lower the flame.
- Allow the wheat to simmer for 1 hour.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in the sugar, cinnamon, orange blossom water, and rose water.
- Serve garnished with walnuts.
Tu B'Shevat, Sephardi-style