Passover begins this evening with the first seder (also known as Jesus’s last supper). In the book of Exodus it states,
No leaven shall be eaten . . . For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread . . . and no leaven shall be seen of yours [in your possession].
In addition, there are a number of things that Jews observing Passover don’t eat.
Any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen). Of this, Chabad.org says, “Our sages have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven, unless fully baked within eighteen minutes. As we are commanded by the Torah, if a food contains even a trace of chametz, we don’t eat it, we don’t derive benefit from it, and we make sure not to have any of it in our possession for all the days of Passover.”
-Matzoh is baked within the 18 minutes.
Of this, Chabad says, “The medieval Jewish sages placed a ban on eating legumes (kitniyot) on Passover, because they are similar in texture to chametz—even bread can be made out of their flour—so people might assume that if, for example, cornbread can be eaten on Passover, wheat or rye bread can be eaten too. This prohibition includes rice, beans and corn. This injunction was unanimously accepted by Ashkenazic Jews. Many Sephardic Jews, however, continue to eat kitniyot on Passover.” If I recall correctly, at one point in history Sephardic Jews being persecuted had to choose between eating rice and beans or starving to death, and thus rice, beans and corn were declared okay to eat.
There an app for that
- I’ve got Chabad’s Passover Assistant app for Android, also available for Apple products, Windows devices and Kindle.
- iPhone/iPad users can read this list of apps.
- A quick Google search for “Passover app Android” gave me Passover Karaoke ($1.11)
- Rusty Brick designed the No Chametz Android App for searching, cleaning, destroying and selling chametz, but it’s too late for this year.
Recipe & article links
From Food & Wine magazine:
- 5 Kosher-for-Passover Fish Dishes That Are Better Than Gefilte Fish
- Gail Simmons’s Favorite Passover Recipes– I’m thinking of using the recipe for matzoh balls or kugel
- Andrew Zimmern’s Passover Lamb with Pickled Cherries
- Modern Passover (some recipes in common with “Gail’s picks”.)
- Desserts for Passover
…Make one of these for your multi-faith Passover-Easter dinner.
- Passover Recipes: 18 Easy Meals To Try In April
- The Best Chocolate Dessert Recipe For Passover (And Easter Too)
The Jewish Daily Forward
- Red Velvet Macaroon Cake
- Fair Trade Chocolate Charoset
- Passover Sweets — The Best Recipes on the Web
- 6 Kosher Wines To Sip This Seder
- 4 Cocktails for 4 Sons
- The Complete Guide To Hosting a Seder
- The Seder Plate: Exodus from the Climate Crisis
From other sources:
- A Food Lover’s Guide to Passover (The Kitchn) – After I read this I bought coconut so I can make “the Best Coconut Macaroons”.
- Martha Stewart’s Passover recipe archive
- Vegetarian Ashkenazi Passover Recipes (PBS)
- JewLicious Passover Recipes Roundup
Paleo recipes are generally safe for passover because they don’t have “chametz” or “kitniyot”. Except for the matzoh, it’s easy to eat gluten free too. (Gluten free matzoh equivalent and related products do exist and, if I recall correctly from reading ingredient lists, are made mostly from potato starch.)