The Jew And The Carrot

Pepitada, The Greek Way to Break the Fast

By Aaron Kagan

How many times have you thrown away the seeds when slicing a melon? Probably every time, unless you’re a fan of pepitada.

Pepitada is a beverage made not from the juicy flesh but from the toasted seeds of melons. A small glass of this sweet, milky drink, that is similar to Mexican horchata, is a traditional way to break the Yom Kippur fast in parts of the Eastern Mediterranean such as Greece and Rhodes.

It has a distinctly familiar yet also unfamiliar taste. With a hint of melon, the predominant flavor is a rich and toasted note reminiscent of a very light latte or a sesame confection. Tiny drops of oil from the nutrient-rich seeds dot the surface of the liquid. A little honey and just a few drops of rosewater round it out to create a refreshing and compelling beverage that will bring you back to life after hours without food or drink.

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