No tomatoes, peppers, corn or potatoes for this salad, as these foods came to the Middle East after Christopher Columbus and his contemporaries introduced them, bringing them from the New World to the Old. And despite apples being dipped in honey at so many holiday tables, the fruit, originating in Kazakhstan, was not a biblical species. Although the Bible mentions the generic Hebrew word for fruit, “peri,” to refer to the forbidden one in the Garden of Eden, it was not until Jews moved to Europe that they adapted the apple, a fruit more readily available to them than dates and pomegranates, for the blessing.
To this day, as part of a Rosh Hashana meal, many Middle Eastern and Sephardic Jews say blessings over fall foods to symbolize hope for the new year. So this salad has the flavors of fall — pomegranates, olives, figs and beets. Ancient beets were