4 April 2017

Dietary restrictions for Pesach

"When the Pharaoh freed the Israelite's, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for the bread dough to rise (leaven).  In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason Passover was called the feast of unleavened bread in the Torah or Old Testament.  Thus matzo (flat unleavened bread) is eaten during Passover and it is a tradition of the holiday."
The implications of Pesach on non-Jewish people in other words for Gentiles living in Israel during Passover is that there will be no bread sold in the bakeries and supermarkets for a week.  As well, foods containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats are also not sold unless they are labelled "Kosher for Passover".  All five of these forbidden grains are collectively called "chametz".  As well as bread, the restrictions also apply to pasta, pastries, breadcrumbs, biscuits and so on.  In the Ashkenazi tradition of Judaism, foods such as rice, millet, corn and legumes such as beans and lentils are also not allowed with the inference being that these foods can also be ground and cooked or baked just like flour.  In addition, food items which one would not immediately associate with leavening such as some types of alcohol most notably beer, vinegar and any food items which contains corn syrup will not be on sale either.  Having said that, it is a good opportunity to be creative with food and there are plenty of recipes on the internet for cooking and baking with matzo.  As well, I think doing without these foods for a week is not much of a hardship and can be viewed as a form of abstinence.  It certainly makes one appreciate what one is able to eat and drink during the rest of the year.

My favourite food writer, Claudia Roden has many recipes for cooking with matzo in her book entitled, "The Book of Jewish Food, An Odyssey From Samarkand To New York."  If you wish, you can refer to an earlier blog post I did about this book. 

Kosher for Passover recipes 

 Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller. 15 Healthy Passover Chicken Recipes, Rivka Lieberman 

Leite's CULINARIA Matzopaloozah 100 ideas (really)

12 Decadent Cake Recipes for Passover ~

  Happy holidays ~ חג שמח
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