True confession. This Jewish New Year, I participated in a threesome with date molasses and pomegranate molasses, trying to give a second chance to a couple of foods I’d bypassed in the past.
Date molasses and pomegranate molasses are not at all like the good old fashioned molasses on the grocery shelf. To start with, you probably won’t find them on the shelves of your local grocery. I ordered them from Amazon.com. The date molasses arrived in a bottle with a Hebrew label. The pomegranate molasses arrived in a bottle with an Arabic label. They are also not slow as molasses. The date molasses in particular flowed out so quickly that I struggled, mostly unsuccessfully, to get some of it back in the bottle.
Both dates and pomegranates have a special relationship with the Jewish New Year. Both fruits are included in the seven species mentioned in the Bible as special products of the land of Israel. When the Bible refers to the land of milk and honey, the honey it is referring to is date molasses, also known as silan. Pomegranates are often eaten on the Jewish New Year because they are believed to have 613 seeds, corresponding to the number of commandments given in the Torah.
I started my experiment with a pomegranate/date molasses chicken with eggplant. The date molasses gave it a heavy taste, and it was a little disappointing. Here is the recipe:
However, the pomegranate (this time in juice form) and date flavors married well in this spiced honey cake recipe:
I didn’t make the date molasses glaze since I felt the honey cake was already sweet enough as it was. The honey cake was distinctive. Yes, I’ll make it again.