A New Year Tam: Update on Ingber and Shana Tova

Posted By Ann Rabinowitz

Today, I was delighted to receive the following photograph from my Australian reader, Naomi Barnett.  Ever the helpful JewishGenner, she often sends me things via e-mail or refers people to me.  This time, she sent me something I had been searching for and had written about previously in the Blog.  It was a picture of a package of kosher ingber (carrot candy or as it was stated on the package:  imberlach).  It had been imported especially for the New Year to far-off Melbourne, Australia, from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Imberlach from Johannesburg, SA

The product made by Selwyn Segal stated on its label that it was made of sugar, carrots, lemon juice, and ginger and did not have preservatives.  At last, I was actually seeing what this famed New Year’s delicacy looked like, if only in a photo.  The pieces appear to be finely grated carrot cut into squares 1”x1” by ½” thick, all nicely fresh and inviting.

Naomi and her husband have promised to open the package and take another photo of an actual piece of the imberlach.  Hopefully, they won’t take one of them eating it as I will be so jealous!!!

The strange thing is that here in the United States, in South Florida, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the world, I have never seen ingber or imberlach.  It has never been served during the holidays in any Jewish home I have been in and I have never seen it displayed in any of the many kosher eateries or stores I am familiar with.

Yet, in far-off Australia, the taste of the imberlach has not been forgotten by ex-patriot South Africans, many of them of the Litvak persuasion.  This memory of home and yiddishkeit yet exists in more than stories or tales told by the older generation.  The rekindling of the traditions of the past at one’s Rosh Hashanah table and the remembrance of one’s family is something to keep in mind as we celebrate these upcoming holidays.

With that, I want to wish all of the readers of the Blog a very happy, healthy and, most of all, sweet New Year and well over the Fast.  See you next year!!!


  1. My aunt in Daugavpils always made imberlach (or imberlech) and I am positive my cousin still knows how to make them. I know the taste very well.

  2. Imberlach seem to be known mostly to South Africans or ex South Africans No one in Israel apart from the ex S Africans know what they are . A good family friend in S Africa used to make them with beetroot to get a rich red colour!

  3. Oh! Yes. Imberlach were one of my Mom's favorite Pesach confections. She loved ginger and the Imberlach that we got were very gingery. Even though I was a child, I too indulged in this confection. Slowly I would bite thin layers, almost grating them off with my teeth. The strong ginger was both fragrant and enticing, making me want to prove that I could stand it's pungent burning taste. Today I long for it. I am a chocolatier here in Burlington Vermont. I plan on making imberlach one of these days and then dipping them in dark chocolate. How divine would that be?

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