In April adherents of three world religions will celebrate the most important religious holidays: Easter for the Christians, Passover for the Jews and beginning of Ramadan for the Muslims.
Ukraine is a multi-confessional country, therefore we asked the Christians about consumption of honey during the Great Fast and Easter, the Muslims – during Ramadan, and found out why honey is a kosher product for the Jews.
The Great Fast
The Great Fast lasts in Ukraine now. It will finish on Easter Eve on April 18. It is a special period for the Christians, during which a person tries to clear himself from all the evil, dedicates much time to praying and confessing sins. To help the person spiritually purify the soul, there are restrictions for some kinds of entertainments and pleasures, including food of animal origin. Honey is a product collected by bees. But they gather it from flowers’ nectar, but do not produce themselves, like cows which produce milk. That is why during the Fast non-boiled food of plant origin is allowed: bread, water, salt, raw fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, honey. Such sweets as honey, halva and dark chocolate are recommended to eat instead of sugar. Besides, honey is rich in useful properties. It possesses anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Moreover, it was always appreciated by the church. Many monasteries have beehives.
Adding honey into the main dish – Easter cross bun
Soon, on April 19 Orthodox Ukrainians will celebrate a family holiday of Easter. Easter cross bun is a traditional European pastry made on Easter in many countries. There are special recipes of Easter cross bun varying from country to country, from region to region, from family to family. Orange zest and candied fruit, raisings, honey can be added to buns. There are such buns with honey: Almond bun for raw foodists, Creamy buns with ricotta, Classic honey bun, Honey-cheese bun etc. Buns with honey are sweet and fragrant. Make a sweet bun with honey for your loved ones on Easter.
Besides, dishes with honey are also delicious. Especially good for gourmets are marinades with honey for barbeque or chicken wings, ribs or carp. Turkey with honey cooked in oven has an unrivalled taste. And natural linden honey is a superb dressing full of vitamins for any salad made of raw vegetables and fruit. For example for an apple-orange salad one needs to:
- Grate carrots;
- Chop apple and orange;
- Mix it, add nuts, squeeze lemon and sprinkle with liquid honey.
This salad perfectly suits an Easter meal, and is full of vitamins which are needed during spring and quarantine.
Honey during Ramadan
The Holy month of Ramadan which will last from April 23 till May 23 is coming soon. Muslims are anticipating it the whole year. This month has its peculiarities and to make maximum use of it, there are some things that can help. Using them Muslims not only improve their health but also get rewards from the Almighty Allah. Honey is result of bees’ activity. This unique product was even mentioned in Koran. It has amazing healing properties and has gastronomical value for people and animals. Consuming honey a person strengthens its health, heals diseases and gets pleasure from eating sweet and useful gift of industrious creatures of Allah – bees.
Honey is a kosher product
The word “kosher” comes from the notion “kashrut” – rules and laws related to the life of Jews. There are over 600 commandments described in Tori, and over 50 of them are related to food and define what kosher product is.
Those edible products that we get from non-kosher animals are deemed not clean. How come that honey is kosher if non-kosher bees produce it? The secret lies in the fact that a bee does not produce honey. Bees only carry flower nectar in their mouths, using it as a temporary “vault”, until the level of sugar reaches 80%, and then they place it into honeycombs and store it there. Therefore, honey is a unique phenomenon in kashrut!
This year Jews celebrate Passover from the 8th till the 16th of April. It is the holiday of freedom which commemorates the escape of Jews from slavery in Egypt. It symbolizes renewal of the world and freedo of the person. One of the main traditions of the holiday are dinners and tasty food. Honey is added to matzoth, unleavened bread made of wheat flour eaten during Passover. Besides a traditional dish imberlach is cooked from matzoth and honey.
Have nice holidays! Eat honey and be healthy!