The “Seven Species of Israel” are identified in the description of Israel in Deuteronomy 8:8, “a land of wheat, barley, grapevines, figs, and pomegranates; a land of oil olives and date honey.” These fruits and grains were the staple foods of biblical times, and still maintain a presence across modern Israel’s landscape. It has become a tradition to include tastes of the seven species on Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish holiday celebrating the New Year of the Trees. Tu B’Shevat begins on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 30.


Seven Species Couscous


  • 2 boxes couscous with garlic and olive oil
  • ⅔ cup cooked pearl barley
  • ½ cup chopped figs
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup chopped raisins
  • ⅔ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper


  1. Prepare the couscous as directed.
  2. Add the barley and chopped figs, dates and raisins.
  3. Add the olive oil and stir gently.
  4. Gently toss in pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve at room temperature.