6 ways to use your etrog

etrog, citron held by woman's hand in Jaffa, Israel on a porch

Just after the Hebrew holiday of Sukkot Jewish people start planning what to do with the ritual fruit called an etrog. It is one of the four species used in the holiday. It is a wonderful smelling fruit that can be put to use in marvellous and creative ways.

Brew the rind into beer

tej honey beer, mead ethiopian honey wine, ethiopia, recipe

A local craft beer in Tel Aviv called Dancing Camel brewery makes a Sukkot beer using etrog rinds. Why not make your own? Or start simpler with a tej mead beer from Ethiopia

Make etrog perfume

Perfumers distill essences of fruits and plants into oils that they deliver in a perfume. We know of an Israeli that makes an etrog perfume but why not try it yourself? Start simpler and make Ethiopian beer Tej, flavored with a bit o’ etrog rind.

Freshen up your closet

Keep it in your clothes closet. As it slowly dries out it releases a wonderful smell and will make everything smell nice.

Make an etrog for havdalah

Some people take an afternoon and push cloves into the etrog, covering the entire etrog. They then use the finished product for havdala, a Jewish ceremony performed after the end of the Sabbath, Saturday after nightfall. If you opt to do this, make sure you do so in one sitting since the etrog will dry out very quickly and you will not be able to continue later.

Make etrog-flavored vodka

Well you are not going to make the vodka. You will buy a good quality vodka and drop what rinds you have, minus the pulpy white bits, and let it sit for a month to release the smell of the etrog and to turn it into a flavor.

Make etrog jam

etrog jam being placed on a slice of bread,

Like marmalade, but better

There are elaborate dishes such as etrog meringue pie, etrog cake or etrog risotto that people have historically made when they knew there were no pesticides on the rind of the fruit. If you find organic, or have a bounty of summer fruit to preserve like strawberries it is worth to make long-shelf life preserves and marmalade. But you will only have one or two etrogs. So follow this recipe to make etrog jam you will eat within a week or two.

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3 thoughts on “6 ways to use your etrog”

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  2. Thanks! i’m no compost expert and i’m glad that you’re making sure that i get it right!

  3. james says:

    Jack – I won’t reccomend composting the leaves, as most citrus in the compost repells worms & the other bacteria that breaks down the matter. As a compost perfectionist, I would reccomend folk keep a seperate citrus bucket, where all citrus can break down, then the slimy mulch can be added to the compost later…when the tart citrus is no more!

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