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Now on a Clearance Shelf in Your Local Supermarket: Understanding Passover Foods

submitted on April 9, 2012 by equipurple in "Products / Gadgets"
Even though Passover is an eight day holiday (of which today is the third), grocers have likely already marked down much of their Passover goods. Bargains are there to be had, so I wanted to offer my fellow Buxrites a look inside to see what to buy and what to stay away from.
Briefly, Passover celebrates the biblical exodus from Egypt, when the Israelites "did not have time for the bread to rise." This phrase spawned volumes of rabbinic interpretation and a modern day industry of prepared foods. Foods marked "Kosher for Passover" have no wheat or flour other than specifically prepared flour made into matzah and then ground into matzah meal; no yeast or other leavening agents; no oats, rye, barley, or spelt; no corn, rice, beans, soy, legumes; no products of these ingredients (ie no corn syrup).
Matzah: a dry sheet of cracker-like consistency, generally lacking pronounced flavor. You can eat it to replace bread with spreads or cheeses, peanut butter and jelly; use it in stuffings; try cooking "matzah brei" for breakfast. Search online for recipes or ask for mine. Egg matzah is drier and has a hint of flavor. Whole wheat matzah is even more inedible than plain.
Matzah Meal: crushed matzah used as a cooking and baking flour; very dry; use for matzah meal pancakes, breading chicken to replace bread crumbs.
Cake Meal: Finely dusted matzah meal to use in baking.
Gefilte Fish: a somewhat mild ground fish cake served cold as an appetizer; made from carp, pike, pickerel, or whatever; an acquired taste perhaps; horseradish is a great on it
Borscht: cold beet soup
Matzah balls (in chicken soup): dumplings made from matzah meal, eggs, and oil; consistency ranges from light and fluffy to dense and heavy (floaters and sinkers); highly recommend these to the uninitiated.
Passover baked goods, cakes, cookies: you can bet that they will be dry and heavy; filled with excess eggs and sugar; may be tasty, but proceed at your own risk.
Macaroons: Coconut cookies in multitudes of flavors; moister than prepared cookies, but still dense; worthwhile trying.
Passover cereals: most akin to flavored cardboard; your kids won't eat them.
Passover pastas: I'd eat a box of Passover cereal before a single strand of Passover noodles or pasta; your kids won't eat them--your dog may not eat them.
Anything else marked Kosher for Passover: is made with supervision and without the aforementioned ingredients. Look for bargains in the Passover clearance aisle on grape juice, apple juice, canned fruit, salad dressings, chocolate bars and candies (all made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup), pickles, salsas, middle-eastern foods, marshmallows, jellies/fruit preserves, Bazooka bubble gum (made in Israel, comics in Hebrew),etc.
Finally, look for Coke and Diet Coke 2-liter bottles with yellow caps. They too are Kosher for Passover and are made with sugar instead of corn syrup and are more reminiscent of the original tastes (that I remember from my youth, at least).
Questions? Post 'em here, I am happy to help.
--EP
           

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  Comments
  • 147728
    clover
    professor
    1 6 7
    12 11 2
    Posted by clover on April 9, 2012
    [reply] 1 0
    I love Macaroons! Especially the ones with chocolate in them.
  • 147739
    mike13
    teacher
    7 1 1
    Posted by mike13 on April 9, 2012
    [reply] 3 0
    I learned some things i didn't know. Thanks!
  • 147773
    gabyperu
    professor
    9 5 2
    Posted by gabyperu on April 9, 2012
    [reply] 3 0
    I didn't even know Kosher Coke existed.
      147792
    • equipurple
      professor
      2
      11 8 1
      Posted by equipurple on April 10, 2012
      [reply] 1 0
      Gaby, not sure if you are referring to Kosher year round or Kosher for Passover...
      To my knowledge, all Coke (and Pepsi for that matter) soft drinks are Kosher for the regular year. There is an agreement that the certification is held on file rather than being displayed on the bottles (little symbols of Kosher certification called a "hecksher" on various products, most common are a U in a circle and a K in star, and fifty other varieties). Similarly, in the Kosher for Passover versions, there is no big starburst on the label that says "Kosher for Passover," just a hecksher on the cap.
  • 147791
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on April 10, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    My mom cooked borscht almost daily when I lived with my parents back in Russia. It is very tasty!
      147941
    • clover
      professor
      1 6 7
      12 11 2
      Posted by clover on April 11, 2012
      [reply] 1 0
      Can't do beets. My Mom used to make me sit at the table until I ate the vegetables that were on my plate....beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes and peas. I can eat sweet potatoes and peas now but not the other two.
  • 147793
    equipurple
    professor
    2
    11 8 1
    Posted by equipurple on April 10, 2012
    [reply] 1 0
    UPDATE
    Yellow caps are only in some parts of the country. Other areas (Chicagoland especially) will feature white caps on the Kosher for Passover Coke.
  • 147873
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on April 10, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    I just listened to Money Planet on NPR, they had a very interesting program about economics of making Matzo. Fascinating stuff, for all the money geeks out there. Wink

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money.....zo-economy
  • 147874
    YanBz
    admin
    Posted by YanBz on April 10, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    Inside the Matzo Factory:
  • 147890
    roxytang
    professor
    2
    10 7 2
    Posted by roxytang on April 11, 2012
    [reply] 2 0
    Loved your descriptions. Being half Jewish and growing up in a non-practicing household, I've been exposed to some of the items mentioned on your list. Definitely got a chuckle out of your definitions of Passover Cereals and Pastas. Big Grin
  • 172039
    equipurple
    professor
    2
    11 8 1
    Posted by equipurple on March 28, 2013 [reply] 0 0
    Bumped for this year.
    I bought $165 worth of kosher for Passover food for our house yesterday. Total bill? $61

    New this year: potato pancake mixes with various herbs and seasonings; Osem brand cakes are moister and tastier; lots of fruit leathers; snack foods in individual packages in more flavors; generally more types of cakes, cookies, and sweets.

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