Charoset (Hebrew: חֲרֽוֹסֶת derived from חרס cheres "clay") is a mixture typically containing apples, nuts, cinnamon, honey, and wine which serves to sweeten the bitter maror of the Passover Seder meal. Because of its appearance, it symbolizes the mud mixed with straw used by the slaves in Egyptian buildings. It is a favourite of many children, who during the Seder meal, often eat it thickly spread on matzah.
In the Song of Songs the Jewish people are compared to apples, pomegranates, figs, dates, walnuts and almonds, which have all been used as ingredients for Charoset. The Talmud also says that the Charoset should be made "tangy" by using apples to commemorate the apple trees under which the Jewish women secretly gave birth in Egypt (Song of Songs 8:5) The feminine imagery is also alluded to by many rabbinical scholars who believe that Charoset represents the Jewish women's and God's way of relating to slavery and the slaves: "the enslavement was bitter, both physically brutal and psychologically degrading, but the Jewish women didn't lose hope, and God was with [them], raising a new generation of Jewish children." The Maror (enslavement) is tempered with the Charoset (hope and caring).
- Passover Charoset 40 recipes for Charoset at JewishFood.org. Accessed 18 February 2008