Summer is full of passion, so it is particularly fitting that Tu b’Av takes place during this warm season, this year on August 1.
Sort of the “Jewish Valentine’s Day,” Tu b’Av is historically a grape harvest festival during which matchmaking was encouraged and love was celebrated as the foundation of society. Over the centuries, the day had all but been forgotten. The holiday, however, has made quite the resurgence lately in Israel, although I’m not sure if any women dress in white and sing to the men like they used to historically.
There’s a fanciful belief in society that certain foods are connected to, or even induce love. Usually, it’s anything rich in taste – such as chocolate or strawberries. If you do a Google search of aphrodisiacs, a long list of foods appear, of which there’s no actual evidence of any on them working at all. And the truth is that if you actually want to boost your own amorous drive, exercise is probably the way to go (but not too much).
However, I believe that, if we want to inspire love in someone else, the best thing we can do is to make ourselves healthy – both physically and mentally. To that point, I could shout from the rooftops about the benefits of rosewater. You might already be familiar with it as a common ingredient in skin-care products. High in antioxidants with anti-aging properties, it’s also good to ingest. Rosewater can help relieve headaches, settle nerves, and assist with digestion. And it’s actually a very common ingredient in Middle-Eastern cooking.
At the Cardo Cafe’ at the Sandler Family Campus, I sometimes make a malabi yogurt with a bit of distilled rosewater, but the best way to increase the volume of your rosewater intake is with Rosewater Lemonade.
To make it, first make a rosewater tea. You can use fresh rose petals, but they must be organic. I, instead, buy a big bag of dried rose petals (organic and kosher) from Amazon. Once the tea is cooled, mix it with lemon juice and sweetener (simple syrup or agave). Serve chilled with ice and voila!
Rosewater Lemonade is going to make you look and feel great. And remember, the most attractive thing you can wear is a smile.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Eitan Altshuler is with the Cardo Café/Humusiya at the Sandler Family Campus where he has created a popular Israeli menu.