came first: the bottle or the lemon?”, we asked Shmuel Shabtai when he showed
us the mysteriously lovely bottle with golden liquid and a ripe full-sized
lemon inside it. Instead of replying, Shabtai took us to the citrus groves
where we saw bottles hanging from trees. Inside each bottle was a lemon bud
which over a 9-month period would grow into a full-sized lemon! The bottles
are “harvested” and filled with fragrant oils that act as natural preservatives.
When opened the bottles reveal the long-lasting aromatic scent of a citrus
The story behind this innovative product
began in Persia (Iran) more than 50 years ago. Shabtai’s grandfather — an
observant Jew — raised his own etroglulav is blessed on the
holiday of Sukkot. And then one day, his grandfather tried a little experiment:
he put the bud of a flowering etrog tree into a bottle, and tied the
bottle to the tree. The fruit continued to grow and eventually a full-grown
etrog was inside the bottle. fruit — which along
Fifty years later, Shabtai adapted
his grandfather’s original concept to a modern-day marketable product. And
what better location to grow the unusual lemon-in-a-bottle than in Shabtai’s
home, Kibbutz Ein Zurim, with its acres of citrus orchards.
Once the lemon is ripe, the bottles
are filled with fragrance that allow you to smell the aroma of citrus orchards
wherever you may be. Long lasting, lemon-in-a-bottle is always in season.
The products are approved by the Rabbinate as kosher, and therefore may be
used as “bessamim” [spices] in the Havdallah ceremony after the Sabbath.
Visitors are welcome to see the groves
with bottles hanging from trees! After the tour, purchase lemon-in-a-bottle
at the gift shop. Other unusual products for sale too.