Happy Passover!

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Spring brings religious and cultural celebrations as we emerge from the cold and dark of winter. The air is warmer and softer, the days are longer, and the world seems to be reinventing itself.

And the traditional way to celebrate is with food!

Food blogger Tori Avey tells us about the background for traditional Passover seder meals: ”Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews have the same religious beliefs, but their cooking styles are vastly different. Ashkenazi foods are more familiar to American cooks (bagels, gefilte fish), while Sephardic foods tend to be more exotic in terms of flavor (hummus, baba ghanoush). Why the difference? It basically boils down to the weather. Ashkenazi food is reflective of the colder regions where Ashkenazi Jews settled (Eastern Europe, Hungary, Russia). To survive a Russian or Polish winter, one needed heavy, rib-sticking cuisine—foods like potatoes, noodles, meat, smoked fish, preserved and pickled foods. Sephardic Jews settled in warmer areas of the Mediterranean (Morocco, Italy, France). Due to the sunny climate, they had access to fresh vegetables, fish, fruits, spices and olive oil. Because of this, Sephardic cuisine tends to be lighter, healthier, and more colorful.”

If you’re celebrating Passover this year, the list of what you cannot eat is of course fairly long… but that leaves you with a lot of great choices that include:

  • Matzo in any form (matzo meal, matzo cake meal, matzo farfel)
  • Any kind of fruit
  • Any kind of vegetable, excluding those listed under kitniyot
  • Beef, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, or fish with scales.
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Nuts, nut flours, and pure nut butters (no additives), excluding those listed under kitniyot (peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds)
  • Dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and kefir, are acceptable when they are not mixed with additives (like corn syrup). Dairy products cannot be mixed with meat.
  • Quinoa. While somewhat controversial, most sources agree that quinoa is not technically a grain, and therefore it is permissible on Passover.
  • Broth from kosher meats and vegetable-based broth
  • Any packaged or processed product with a Kosher for Passover hechsher (stamp of approval from a kosher organization) is considered acceptable for Passover consumption.

So what kind of menu are you considering? Whatever it is, we have everything that you need for the perfect Passover seder at Bliss Shurfine Food Mart!