Fun Challah Facts


photo by Joshua Kolling-Perin

A few years back, I was asked to host a little challah and snack story time for adults and young people alike. That is a pretty tall order. How do you keep a crowd ranging from 7 to 77 happy?

I had three ways: tell stories, let them tell stories and finally – let them eat challah.

Challah refers to the braided bread that is eaten by Jews. This is eaten at the start of Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) and at the start of every holiday (minus Passover – then we eat matzah which is a blogpost in itself). Most of the year we eat it in long loaves.

Challot refers to more than one challah.

Challah also refers to the portion of the bread that was given to the religious leaders of the Cohen tribe (the high priests – not the same as in the Catholic church). Today, some when making challot will take a small portion off and burn it. My mother can remember her grandmother doing this when she was making the weekly challot.


On Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish New Year, the challah is round. This is also a time when you more likely find it with raisins and chocolate. If you ask my youngest it is round to represent the world. I like that explanation best. The more formal answer would be that we are at the start of a new year and we have come full circle and ready to start the cycle again.


photo by Beth Posner

So where do I buy fresh challah locally?

Almost Heaven (gluten free bread bakery with a bread that tastes like challah)

Great Harvest Bakery


Imagine That Gluten Free (Carrboro and Durham farmer’s market)

LaFarm Bakery

Levin JCC

Trader Joe’s

Weaver Street Market (prior to needing to go gluten free this was our home preference)

Whole Foods

UNC Students Challah for Hunger


Gluten Free Folks – here is a separate post just for you about local challah!


May your year be as sweet as honey. Looking for local honey? Check out this post.

Please note – If anyone has a challah photo they took – I would gladly include it in this post and give you credit. I often forget to take photos in the moment –  thus once again, I am reminded of my blog post on why I cannot be a true food blogger.


Share your gluten free recipes, challah sources and photos with me – and I will update the post.


L’Shana Tova  – Happy New Year




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