Fish flies off Israel's supermarket shelves ahead of holiday season

As holidays approach, Israelis stock up on the big necessities.

September 14, 2017 19:27
1 minute read.
Apples and honey. Fragrant summer apples and jar of honey

Apples and honey. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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When there’s a Jewish holiday approaching, you know it means one thing: Time to eat.

And if you’re planning to buy fish, apples or pomegranates to grace your Rosh Hashana table, you might want to stock up fast.

According to figures released Thursday by the Agriculture Ministry, Israelis are buying those three items in much higher rates as the holiday, which begins Wednesday night, fast approaches.

In a normal month, ministry figures show, the average Israeli consumes 1 kg of fish. But in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, the month that includes Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, that figure doubles to 2 kg.

each. The most popular variety is carp, followed by tilapia (Amnon in Hebrew, also known as St. Peter’s fish).

Israelis also purchase apples – which are traditionally eaten with honey at the holiday meals – in higher quantities in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashana. According to figures from the ministry, an average week in Israel sees the sale of 730 tons of apples, but the weeks leading up to the holiday period boost that to 835 tons. They are, however, a very popular item year round: The average Israeli eats 97 apples per year. They are so popular that, despite producing 115,000 tons of apples within Israel, the country imports an additional 26,000 tons from Europe and the US.

And what about pomegranates, the symbol of the holiday? They’re not all that much of a year round staple, with the average Israeli eating just three per year. But they’re certainly more popular this season – as two of those pomegranates get eaten this month. According to the Agriculture Ministry, the sales of the ruby-red fruit skyrocket to 800% above average in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashana.

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