Have you noticed that charoset is typically one of the most popular foods at seders? Traditionally the dish is a mix of chopped apples, grape juice or wine, sugar and nuts, and is meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were slaves in Egypt. It’s easy to make, plus kids love to help!

There are so many varieties of charoset that a fun seder idea is a make-your-own charoset buffet that offers guests different choices for add-ins. Some examples: fresh or dried apricots, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, apples, coconut, bananas, oranges, pomegranates, lemons, pears, cranberries, prunes, avocados and currants. For sweeteners you could try white or brown sugar, honey, agave syrup, juices, maple syrup or red wine. Spices could include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Nuts to try include walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts and sesame seeds. The possibilities are truly endless!

You can also try a new-to-you recipe from a different culture, like some of my favorites below:

California Charoset
1 large avocado, diced into cubes
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/8 cup figs, chopped
1/8 cup prunes, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Grated peel of half an orange
1/8 cup orange juice, or to taste

New England Charoset
2 medium apples (peeled or not), grated
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup apple cider
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup matzah meal, optional

Tropical Charoset
1/2 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1 banana, sliced
1 cup papaya, cubed
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dried mango pieces
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons candied ginger, chopped

Persian/Iranian Charoset
1 apple (peeled or not), chopped
1 pear (peeled or not), chopped
1/3 cup dates, chopped
1/3 cup raisins, chopped
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger root, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup purple grape juice
1/8 cup matzah, optional

Israeli Charoset
1 red apple (peeled or not), chopped
1 banana, sliced and quartered
1 orange, sectioned and quartered
1/4 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/8 cup white grape juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 cup matzah meal, optional

Jodi Jarvis is CJP’s Director of Families with Young Children and Interfaith Engagement.