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For purposes of reciting shechiyanu, how do we determine if I am having a fruit for the first time "this season"? Do I need to have gone a whole year (or some other period of time) without eating it? What if I am eating it out of it's local season?

To give some examples: in North America blueberries are seasonal to the summer but you can get imported South American blueberries in winter. You can also freeze, dry, or juice the berries and keep them through winter. If I ate blueberries in the summer, would I say shechiyanu when I eat imported or frozen berries in December? If I didn't eat berries in the summer, would I say shechiyanu on the winter berries even though they aren't in season? Conversely, would eating those berries in December prevent me from making shechiyanu next summer?

[EDIT] I originally also asked "what if a fruit has multiple seasons or grows continuously throughout the year?" Those issues are addressed by OC 225:6. The Mechaber writes that produce that grows year round does not get a shechiyanu. The Rema adds that if it has two seasons, but doesn't grow continuously, you would say shechiyanu in each season.

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    See Orach Chaim 225:6
    – שלום
    Apr 16, 2023 at 14:20
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    @שלום thanks! Looks like that answers my question about no season and 2 seasons. Doesn't seem to answer my Q about eating it out of season. I also wonder if nowadays most fruits are treated as not having a season due to global supply chains etc. or we still look at local seasons (surely people have written about this)
    – Avraham
    Apr 16, 2023 at 14:23

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I suggest looking at the piskei teshuvos 225:17-18 (including all footnotes) for a full understanding, however this is a summary of what he says:

In general, a shehecheyanu is only made on seasonal fruit, not on fruit that grow year round (even if one hasn't eaten the fruit for a while). Also, shehecheyanu is made at most every 30 days per fruit (so if something grows in multiple seasons, but is not available all year, a shehecheyanu can be made assuming the seasons are at least 30 days apart).

If a fruit used to be seasonal, but is now available year round because of advances in technology, a shehecheyanu is not made, even if in the 'off-seasons' they're harder to find and more expensive. However, if during the off-seasons the fruit can only be found in specialty stores and is very expensive, then one would make a shehecheyanu on it the first time he eats it during the 'real' season, assuming he hasn't eaten it for 30 days.

If there is a seasonal fruit which is stored in freezers or other storage and can be found all year, and there is very little difference (in taste or look) between the fresh and frozen ones, one doesn't make a shehecheyanu (even if he hasn't eaten it in a while). If there is a difference in taste and look, then one makes a shehecheyanu on the fresh fruit, even if he ate the stored version recently.

A shehecheyanu is only made on 'raw' fruits, not pickled, baked, fried, dried, or made into jam, nor on jarred fruit, even if the fruit is otherwise fresh. The only exception given is compote, since it is only eaten fresh. And even if he ate one of these (besides compote) and then ate a fresh one, he should still make a shehecheyanu.

If a fruit is seasonal, but is imported from elsewhere, it depends: if it is imported seasonally (for example, it grows in the summer and is imported in the winter), then a shehecheyanu can be made on both seasons, assuming the imported one is fresh (if not, a shehecheyanu is only made on the local, fresh season). If, however, the fruit is imported all year, then it is considered a year-round fruit and a shehecheyanu is not made on it.

Fruit that grows disconnected from the ground is treated the same as any other fruit, and has the same halachos mentioned above.

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