I'm hosting an event on Tu B'av and I need to decide on the menu. Are there any foods that are particularly appropriate for the holiday?

  • bananas are good for a malper – C. Ben Yosef Aug 6 '14 at 14:10
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    wedding cake??? – DanF Aug 6 '14 at 14:53
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    Who said there is any reason to eat anything in particular on tu b'av? what do you eat on rosh chodesh, isru chag, Lag Ba' omer? – heffe Aug 11 '14 at 3:03
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    @heffe On Isru Chag my minhag is to eat leftovers. – Double AA Aug 11 '14 at 3:07

I can find no foods that are particularly appropriate for the holiday. In all the descriptions of the day, see for example here there is no mention of special foods (remarkably for a Jewish festival).

Tu B'Av certainly has links to marriage and matchmaking which explains the reference to wedding cake above.

The nights begin to get longer from Tu B'Av which leads to an increase in Torah learning at night which is a special time for learning. This contributes to the happiness for which Tu B'Av is known. So maybe the idea would be to eat foods made from flour based on the mishnah in Avos 3(17) אם אין קמח, אין תורה.

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According to my research, Jews of Lebanon and Syria do eat some traditional foods at this time of the year. This includes the following: 1. Harissee : Whole grains of wheat and lamb hamin cooked with Merrill bones, chickpeas, cinnamon sticks cardamom pods, and broth. 2. Marqooq bread or laffa : paper thin bread to serve with hamin 3. Tamriyeh: a dessert made with a pareve water cooked semolina cooked in sugar syrup flavored with orange blossom and mastic grains, then the semolina is cut into cubes covered in an envelope of dough , then fried. These are then sprinkled with powdered sugar. 4. An assortment of fresh grapes 5. A variety of different new wines

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  • Please show the sources of the minhagim that you specify and what the reasons are – sabbahillel Aug 6 '17 at 1:21
  • Thank you for your answer David! Welcome to Mi Yodeya! As noted, we have an emphasis on sources here. Specifying how you know this, would make this an even better answer. – mevaqesh Aug 6 '17 at 4:34

R. Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin (d. 1900) writes in his third essay on Tu B'Av (which can be found in his Pri Tzaddik, after Va'etchanan):

...להבין ענין היום טוב של ט"ו באב לעשות בו סעודה של משתה ושמחה

To understand the concept of this Yom Tov of the 15th of Av, to make a festive meal of celebration and happiness...

Later in the essay, after exploring some of the roots and ideas behind the day, he adds:

וממילא יש סמך גם כן למשתה ושמחה ביום זה שנקרא יום שמחת לבו, כי אין שמחה אלא ביין כמו שנאמר "ויין ישמח לבב אנוש"

Therefore, there is what on which to rely for a festive meal on this day which is referred to as "day of his joyous heart" for there is no happiness without wine, as it says "and wine rejoices the heart of man".

Based on these comments, it would seem that, at least in his time and locale, the custom was to hold a festive meal, which usually means meat, which included wine.

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  • Your link to Pesachim says that nowadays festive meals include wine, not necessarily meat. Why Rambam paskens meat today too is another question (but see Merkevet Mishneh on that halacha); still, Rabbi Tzadok specifically follows the Talmud and advises wine on Tu Be'Av. Lechaim! – Josh Aug 7 '17 at 14:29

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