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Spring is in the Air!

Purim
The Jewish holiday of PURIM begins March 11, 2017 at sundown. Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.

There are many traditions on this Jewish holiday; it is customary to give food as a gift to our friends. Men give to men and women give to women… by way of a third party, usually a child. It is also customary to give to the needy; at least two needy recipients, including money, clothes or food. Also, drinking wine and alcohol is encouraged on this holiday.

Purim is celebrated nationwide with traditional food, costumes and parades. A popular cookie made for Purim is called a “hamentaschen.” This triangle shaped cookie is filled with a wonderful fruit filling and can be made with any filling you like. Traditional fillings include berries and nuts.

Try this delicious Hamentaschen recipe from our website.

St. Patrick’s Day
Another very popular holiday in March is St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day, which is always March 17th, is an Irish holiday honoring Saint Patrick, the missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity (in the A.D. 400's). Historical sources report that Patrick was born around 373 A.D. in either Scotland (near the town of Dumbarton) or in Roman Britain (the Romans left Britain in 410 A.D.). His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat (he took on Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest). At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6-year captivity working as a shepherd, he began to have religious visions, and found strength in his faith. He finally escaped and went to France, where he became a priest (and later a bishop).

When Saint Patrick was about 60 years old, he traveled to Ireland to spread the Christian word. It is said, that Saint Patrick had an unusually winning personality, which helped him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, as a metaphor to explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, Holy Spirit). Saint Patrick was also known to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland, which is why Ireland has no snakes. Different tales tell of Saint Patrick standing on a hill, using a wooden staff to drive the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from the shores of Ireland.



Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in the United States with plenty of food, fun and wearing green. The first American celebration of Saint Patrick's Day was in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737. Americans celebrated with festivities and food. Today, we celebrate with foods like cabbage, our famous (Dutch Yellow® Potatoes), corned beef and green foods of any kind.

Green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock. Leprechauns are also associated with this holiday.



Melissa’s has some great healthy food ideas for this green holiday: We suggest Green Cabbage or even Salad Savoy (Flowering Kale). Boil these greens until tender and serve with your favorite meat (corned beef is traditional) and you’re off to a great start. Cabbage and Kale contain plenty of vitamin C, too. They also have zero fat and zero cholesterol. Kale has become very popular for juicing because it is nutrient dense and no calories. Check out this link for some other great ideas.

These FUN FACTS are considered good luck on Saint Patrick’s Day…

  • Finding a four-leaf clover
  • Wearing green
  • Kissing the blarney stone
First day of Spring
The first day of spring is March 20, 2017. Flowers are blooming and love is in the air. Spring is welcomed nationwide bringing some delicious fresh fruits and vegetables… From artichokes to fiddleheads, spring is the best time for fresh. Melissa’s bring spring to your doorstep through your local retailer or via mail-order. If you are looking for something specific and cannot find it at your local market, chances are good that we will have it! Just give us a call at 800.588.0151.