Brooklyn…Tu B’shvat (January 17th) or the 15th day in the Hebrew calendar is known as the Rosh Hashanah of the trees and all plants. In many kosher supermarkets special displays were lined with exotic fruits as it is customary to make a blessing on fruits now commonly used. The stores also showcased fruit baskets of every size and color as Tu B’shvat has emerged as the latest gift-giving season. It has particularly taken off with corporate clients. Chasidic rabbis had special celebrations with magnificent trays of assorted fruits. “Tu B’shvat has become a very viable gift giving season,” said one retailer. One good indicator of the growth of the Tu B’Shvat gift business is the growing list of on-line sites that offer the gifts often ranging in price from approximately $50 to well over $200.
One kashrus agency, the Central Rabbinical Congress (CRC) used the occasion to publish a guide on the infestation status of fruits and nuts. The CRC warned that dried fruits and nuts can get infested even after packaging.