Jelly Fruit Slices

I’m convinced the world is divided into two groups: those who look at this picture, start to drool, and think to themselves, how can I get my hands on the red ones? and those who think, meh, does absolutely nothing for me.

The first group knows what they’re talking about and even knows that the red ones come in cherry or raspberry flavor (and are sublimely better when they’re slightly stale and have developed an al dente chew quality. The latter group a) has either not grown up in a proper Jewish household and seen these glorious, jelly candies come out at Passover and then disappear until the next Passover, or b) has lived a deprived life.

Jelly fruit slices are one of the best Jewish candies of all time. I know many of you may be shaking your head, thinking I’ve gone mad. After all, how could a jelly fruit slice compare to a gorgeous, dark chocolate-covered slab of Halvah? Truth be told, you’ve got a point. Halvah is in a class by itself.

But I think jelly fruit slices have a texture thing going for them. Fruit slices are also our version of Easter Peeps, right down to the extra goodness that arrives when that day-old firmness sets in and you can really sink your teeth into them. I have no idea why they only come, say, 12 to a package and why oh why, they were destined to only stick around for Passover celebrations, but I have to tell you, when my grandmother fanned those babies out on a fine crystal dish and carried said dish over to the coffee table, I was right behind her, eyeballing the red ones.

These days, you can of course find perfectly fresh jelly fruit slices at just about any candy store where you can scoop your own candy in bulk or at specialty candy shops in the glass case next to other confection perfections like chocolate-covered cherries (another gift from the candy gods) and so on. They also come in flavors including watermelon (pictured above) and blue raspberry.  Seriously? Like slush?

But if I’m going to be judgmental about it (and I am), every good Jewish girl knows that jelly fruit slices should be lemon, orange, lime, and cherry. Raspberry is the only possible alternative. Sort of like the fifth Mah Jongg player.



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Jodi Luber

Jodi Luber

Here goes: Born in Brooklyn. Daughter of a bagel baker with a Henny Youngman soul and a mom who makes Joan Rivers seem tame. Late bloomer. Married the love of my life at 45 and love being a mom to our three kids. I'm a professor at Boston U. Happiest in the kitchen baking and remembering how my dad would melt from a single bite of my cheesecake.
Jodi Luber
Jodi Luber

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