20 Apr '23
The Tradition of Using an Etrog from Calabria, Italy for Sukkot
Sukkot is a joyous holiday that celebrates the harvest season and the bounty of the earth. One of the most important symbols of Sukkot is the etrog, a citrus fruit that is used along with the lulav, myrtle, and willow branches in the holiday's rituals. While most etrogim are grown in Israel, there is a longstanding tradition among some communities to use an etrog from Calabria, Italy for Sukkot.
The tradition of using an etrog from Calabria dates back millennia, to a time when the Israelites were in the desert and Moses sent messengers to Calabria to bring back etrogim. Later, when it was under the rule of the Kingdom of Naples. Jewish communities in Calabria began growing etrogim for their own use, and the tradition spread to other communities throughout Italy and Europe. The Calabrian etrogim were highly valued for their unique shape, fragrance, and taste, and became a symbol of Jewish identity and pride.
Over time, the tradition of using a Calabrian etrog for Sukkot spread to other parts of the world, including North Africa and the Middle East. Today, many Jews around the world continue to use a Calabrian etrog for Sukkot, both for its historical significance and its distinct qualities.
The Calabrian etrogim are known for their elongated shape and pronounced tip, which is said to resemble a "crown" or "coronet." The etrogim from Calabria are also known for their powerful and distinctive fragrance, which is believed to symbolize the sweet aroma of the Garden of Eden. The sweet and mild taste of the Calabrian etrogim is also highly prized, and they are often used in traditional Jewish dishes and culinary preparations.
At EasyEtrog, we are proud to offer a selection of high-quality etrogim from Calabria, Italy, grown under strict supervision to ensure that they meet the highest standards of kashrut and beauty. We believe that the tradition of using a Calabrian etrog for Sukkot is an important part of Jewish heritage and identity, and we are committed to helping our customers celebrate this joyous holiday in the most meaningful and beautiful way possible.