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BETHESDA, Md. -- Balducci's here is introducing an innovative menu to help the specialty food markets' shoppers celebrate the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The company will launch the catering menu at all of its stores, in conjunction with a series of in-store tastings. The dishes on the menu include Pomegranate Honey Apples, consisting of apples with a crisp glaze made from honey and pomegranates, which is available as both a side dish and as an entree with the Roasted Chicken; a lighter version of the traditional Noodle Kugel, whose layers contain cranberries, adding an autumnal touch to the usual apple mixture; Potato Kugel, featuring sweet roasted garlic and thyme, which was created to complement the chefs' Traditional Beef Brisket; and Gefilte Fish, imparting a milder taste and light texture partly through the chefs' use of tilapia.
The two occasions mark the holiest period on the Jewish calendar, beginning Sept. 22 at sundown with Rosh Hashanah and culminating with Yom Kippur 10 days later.
"We can never forget our cultural traditions," said culinary director David Poran, who with corporate chef Effie Spiegler created the new program. (Both are Jewish.) "But we can reinterpret them for today's taste buds by making familiar foods with great flavors."
Balducci's operates 10 stores and four restaurants.