There are many traditional foods associated with the holiday of Shavuot (AKA Shavuos) . As we are starting to consider Shavuot menus…
–Dairy: Shavuot is associated with dairy for lots and lots of reasons, but blintzes (strawberry or pesto?) and cheesecake are always welcome here! Those are the two most recognizable, but bagels and spreads, pasta dishes like lasagna, pesto sauce, cheesecake, and milk chocolate are often served.
–Fruit: Shavuot is also the feast of the first fruits. A common way to serve fruit is a sour cherry soup (or other fruit soup) or fresh fruit for dessert (although who wants fruit when you could have cheesecake!)
–Special breads and cakes: Challah can be baked longer to resemble the luchot or have a seven stepped ladder on it for Moshe’s trip up to heaven from Mt Sinai. Some even have a custom to make dairy bread, normally something that we don’t do unless it is easily differentiated from non-dairy bread. Cottage cheese levivot (pancakes) are popular, as are blintzes (crepes filled with cheese). A seven layer cake made by Morrocan Jews is also traditional.
Others: Rice (traditional at weddings) is served to remember the “marriage” of God and the Jews, and there is a turkish rice pudding made with milk and honey (remembering the promised land of Israel) and rose water. Plus I know a family that has a second day lunch “tradition” of pizza. Not exactly from Mt. Sinai, but yum!
Now, for those who “have” to eat meat, I haven’t heard of any official traditions, but several communities we have been in have a BBQ. I think it’s more that it is nicer weather than official Jewish reasons, but it seems right after years of seeing it, too!
Here are some recipes I’ve had my eye on that would be good for Shavuot:
Are you making anything special? Any recipes you’d recommend?