Chanalee Fischer Schlisser, the owner of The Challah Fairy in New City, talks about her variety of challah. Mark Vergari, email@example.com
Challah, honey, family, faith: Such are some of the mainstays of Rosh Hashana, one of the holiest days in the Jewish religion. The holiday, which marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, begins the evening of Sept. 29 and ends the evening of Oct. 1 and is both a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection.
Chanalee Fischer Schlisser, the owner of The Challah Fairy in New City, is pictured with a variety of her challah, including crumb, plain and raisin, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)
But before all that reflecting and and praying comes eating. And that means buying (or making) a light, fluffy challah, usually shaped round this time of year to symbolize the eternal cycle of life. The challah is traditionally dipped in honey, symbolizing hopes for a sweet New Year.
Crumb, plain and raisin challah are pictured at The Challah Fairy in New City, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)
By the Way Bakery, Hastings-on-Hudson: Orders are being taken through Sept. 25 for this crown-shaped gluten-free and certified kosher. After that, it's first-come, first-served though the bakery will be making plenty. They'll be open Sept. 28, 29 and 30. FYI: If you have family in the city, there are also locations on the Upper West and Upper East sides as well as in Greenwich, Connecticut. Go: 574 Warburton Ave., Hastings-On-Hudson, 914-478-0555, btwbakery.com
Gluten-free (and kosher) challah, along with apples and honey, at By the Way Bakery in Hastings. (Photo: Leslie Kahan Photos)
Evergreen Kosher Market, Monsey: Whole wheat, plain, everything, poppy, raisin and sesame are among the options at this kosher superstore, where you'll also find versions from New City-based The Challah Fairy. The shop is open Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. giving you plenty of time to decide (and buy). Go: 59 Route 59, Monsey, 845-352-4400, evergreenkosher.com
Kneaded Bread, Port Chester:Round challahs go on sale Sept. 27 and include plain, raisin, seeded and chocolate. Co-owner Jennifer Kohn guestimates the bakery hand-makes about 600 challahs for the holidays.Orders are suggested ahead of time but folks can also walk-in and pick up that morning. The bakery is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Go: 181 N. Main St., Port Chester, 914-937-9452, kneadedbread.com
Red Barn Bakery, Irvington: Local and organic drive the ingredients at Red Barn which means the challahs here — both round and long — are made with organic cage-free eggs, organic unbleached flour and organic olive oil. Go for plain or with raisins and order before Sept. 27, though owner Randell Dodge will have some after that available on a first-come, first-served basis. Go: 4 S. Astor St., Irvington, 914-231-7779, redbarn-bakery.com
Rockland Bakery, Nanuet: Part of the fun of Rockland Bakery is seeing bread baked straight from the ovens to the shelves, then picking your own loaf. There's no ordering necessary (though you can call in advance if you want); just go in and choose from plain or cinnamon raisin. Oblong and round will be on the shelves. Go: 94 Demarest Mill Road, Nanuet, 845-623-5800, rocklandbakery.com
Chanalee Fischer Schlisser, the owner of The Challah Fairy in New City, is pictured with a variety of her challah Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)
The Challah Fairy, New City: Chanalee Fischer Schlisser of Pomona , aka The Challah Fairy, is known for her magic touch creating dense, light challahs in a variety of flavors. Popular for the Jewish holiday: Apple cranberry. In total, you'll find 11 varieties including crumb (most popular), chocolate, raisin, cinnamon-raisin, sesame and of course, plain. Gluten-free is also available as is whole wheat. All are made under rabbinical supervision and are kosher. Her facility is also nut-free. She also does challah baking classes and her new website offers a way to send challah care packages, a great gift for those with kids in college, she said. No worries if you didn't place an order: Walk-ins are welcome and the Challah Fairy is open Friday and Sunday to 5 p.m. and open early. Schlisser said she's often there by 6 a.m. and if she's there, the store is open. "This is our busiest time of year," she said. "We never turn anyone away." Go: 170 N. Main St., New City, 845-323-4582, challahfairy.shop
Hudson River Apiaries: Clover, wildflower, pumpkin blossom, buckwheat and golden rod are all made from bees in Westchester and Orange counties and sold at the Bronxville, Hastings and Pleasantville farmers markets as well as at Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt, Cole's Market in Montrose, Buchanan Home Center in Buchanan and Hilltop Nursery in Croton. Find it: 914-734-7178 or hudsonriverapiaries.com.
Rockland Honey: What began with two hives in 2015 has quickly grown to close to 100, with bee hives spread throughout Rockland County including in New City, Pomona, Haverstraw and Wesley Hills. Beekeeper Zev Oster said all honey is 100% pure and certified kosher. You can find it at Evergreen Kosher Market in Monsey and Back to Earth in New City. Find it: 845-202-2575 or rocklandhoney.com.
Red Bee Honey:Based in Weston, Connecticut, this small boutique apiary is all about single source honey. Beekeeper and founder Carla Marina Marchese also specializes in rare and unique honeys from around the country, all sourced ethically and with top-notch quality control. Among some options: Clover honey, cranberry blossom, lavender and wildflower. Find it: 203-226-4535 or redbee.com.
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