Top 5 Uses for an Etrog After Sukkot

Not sure what to do with your etrog now that Sukkot has passed? Here are some fun and delicious ideas to give your etrog new life ;)

1. HAVDALAH SPICE

Etrog Havdalah Spice

Our Havdalah Spice Box (Thanks for the gift Chaviva!)

Try studding your etrog with whole cloves to make a creative havdalah spice that lasts!

Make sure it is completely covered with the cloves by patiently pushing them one at a time into the etrog, and then put it in a beautiful container that seals well and voila! – you have a new, exotic looking havdalah spice box that will last for years to come! And it’s a way of going from mitzvah to mitzvah :)

2. YUMMY ETROG JAM

Etrog Jam

Tastes even better on toast!

Besides being tasty- this treat is known to be a segulah for an easy birth and is very delicious spread on all sorts of grains and pastries.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own batch:

  • 1 Etrog
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Vanilla essence (best is the real deal, not the fake stuff.)

Got all the ingredients? Follow these easy steps:

  1. Rinse the Etrog.
  2. Cut it lengthwise and slice very thinly.
  3. Soak the fruit overnight.
  4. Change the water (make sure the etrog is covered in it).
  5. Place it in a pot and bring it to a boil. For a second time, change the water and bring to a boil again.
  6. Pour out the water, and weigh the fruit.
  7. Match with an equal amount of sugar (you could use a little less if you’d like).
  8. Cook over a low flame for about 45 minutes, or until it develops a a jam-like consistency. Add some vanilla essence towards the end of the cooking process.

Note: Etrogs are often sprayed with large amounts of strong pesticides, more than other produce, so please contact your etrog provider for more info or, better yet, use an organic etrog when making this or any other edible recipes!

3. MR. ETROG HEAD

Little Girl with Mr. Etrog Head

Emunah Shifra, Playing With Mr. Etrog Head

For this one- grab some beads, pipe cleaners, macaroni, some construction paper, and some of your other favorite arts and crafts materials and make it an art project with the kids!

Each child can make their own or you can all make some together. It’s a fun way to reuse your etrog and get the whole family involved with a fun, creative project.

Note that we checked with R’ Fink, and while it is halachically 100% okay to do this since the etrog loses its status of kedusha after Sukkot, one should still treat the etrog with appropriate respect. This applied for our daughter’s Mr. Etrog Head since we did this specifically to help her connect more to the etrog, in a fun way that she would remember- but if your doll has no purpose other than to be silly, you may want to ask for some guidance from your Rav.

4. ETROG CANDY BITES

Etrog Candy Bites

Rebbetzin Trugman's Etrog Candy in Bracha Schwarz's Pottery

Who knew sweet and sour go together so well? To make this tangy snack you’ll need:

  • ~2 etrogs
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • As much water as needed to keep the saucepan filled, in step 2

Once you’ve got all that:

  1. wash and dry the etrogs thoroughly, then cut into small cubes.
  2. cook in a large saucepan filled with water (so it covers the cubes), for about 30-40 minutes or until the pieces become clear.
  3. drain all that water, and put the 3 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water in the pan.
  4. Cook until the pieces reach 110ºC (230ºF)… if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can cook until the mixture is thick or almost gone, just short of burning the etrog cubes. Note that if the pieces start to stick to the pan, you should move them around a little.
  5. Once done, turn off the heat and let the pieces sit in the pan for an hour.
  6. Toss the cubes in sugar (optional) and let sit on a wire rack overnight.
  7. Enjoy!

5. ETROG L’CHAIM

Etrog L'Chaim

One, Two, Three, Floor!

If you’ve got the time, you can make a very tasty Etrogcello, simply by substituting etrog peels for the lemon…

But for a tasty l’chaim that lasts a very long time, will go over great at a fabrengen, and is much easier to make, you’ll only need:

  • vokda
  • 2tbps sugar

To make the etrog vodka, simply:

  1. Slice your etrog vertically and take out the seeds.
  2. Put the slices in the vodka bottle
  3. Add the sugar
  4. Shake
  5. You can repeat this process with the same etrog slices all year round, l’chaim!

(thanks to Rebbetzin Trugman for that recipe!)

To drink it, you’ll need:

  • A friend
  • Some Torah or a good story to share
  • Pickles (optional)

(P.S. Thank you to my husband David for co-writing this article and taking some of the above photos. May we share many etrogim and fun projects for 120 years!)