Forward to the New Year!

So, this is cool: Ricky the Meadmaker was featured in an article in the Daily Forward about the history of mead and Rosh Hashanah. You can read just his bit here, or click on the link below the excerpt to read the whole article!

Mead once held some significance for American Jews. Ricky Klein, who founded Groennfell Meadery in Colchester, Vermont, in 2013, came across a surprising link while researching the drink’s cultural importance. In The Complete American-Jewish Cookbook, a mid-20th-century book written by Anne London and Bertha Kahn Bishov, he found a homemade honey wine recipe that included the following headnote: “The amber liquid used to be a tradition during Passover. In the past two decades it has gradually disappeared so that the present generation is almost completely unaware of its existence.”

As someone who regularly brews special, small-batch meads for his family’s holiday celebrations — including a vanilla-infused apple cyser for Rosh Hashanah, and a grape and honey mead for Passover that he jokingly named The Manly-Schewitz — Klein was intrigued by the discovery.

Despite a fair amount of follow-up research, he’s been unable to pinpoint exactly why homemade honey wine came to hold a prominent spot at the Passover table in early 20th-century America, or why it had so thoroughly faded by the 1950s when London and Kahn Bishov were writing their book. “The only real proof we have of it is this cookbook,” he said. And yet he wholeheartedly supports the notion of bringing back the practice.

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