We’ve all seen the labels: this matzo, wine, gefilte fish, cake mix, and so on, is kosher for Passover. But what exactly does this mean?
Kosher laws do become a bit more of a challenge during Passover, as Tori Avey, known as The Shiksa in the Kitchen, notes in her blog on this topic. In addition to the usual kashrut laws, chametz—any food or recipe that includes certain grains—may not be consumed during Passover if they have been leavened. Leavening is defined as having contact with moisture or water for 18 minutes.
All foods catered by Mitzuyan Kosher Catering are strictly kosher for Passover during the holiday. Give us a shout to discuss catering your Seder or other meals during this week. Our kosher mobile catering truck travels all over the Toronto region so that we can cook right at your home, using the freshest ingredients to make home cooked meals during Passover.
Best of all, we cook inside our truck, so there’s no cleanup on your part!
What Foods Are Considered Chametz?
Chametz are grains and other products that cause leavening such as:
Matzo is made from wheat, but it doesn’t have contact with water long enough to leaven and rise. That’s why it’s flat, “like a cracker” as many of my non-Jewish friends have observed. In fact, lots of people like to use matzo throughout the year to substitute for breadcrumbs and cake meal.
How difficult is this? Well if you have kids who live on macaroni and cheese, it can be a trial. This may be a good time to distract them by involving them with “everyday” Passover cooking and introducing them to prepare simple meals, like scrambled eggs (great on matzo) and peanut butter matzo sandwiches.
Ashkenazic Jews—those from European descent—often ban kitniyot as well, which includes:
- Green beans
- Sesame and poppy seeds
The Torah doesn’t explicitly ban these, but it’s possible, says the Shiksa, that these items were often stored with chametz and could be “contaminated” with them. Or maybe they just looked too much like chametz, so the ban avoids any confusion. Most Sephardic Jews don’t follow this custom, though.
We follow the rules established by COR, so we leave out kitniyot during Passover.
Four Questions? COR Answered 3000 Last Year!
The good rabbis at COR, the Kashruth Council of Canada, answered over 3000 questions about Passover last year.
Most questions came in on a phone hotline and by email, although Rabbi Dovid Rosen, COR’s Passover specialist, told the COR blog that he was often stopped on the street to answer questions. “We were inspired by the diverse types of questions and the people asking,” he said, citing people making their first-ever Passover commitment. Calls came from around the world; people even called from grocery stores. COR was able to answer almost all questions on the same day they were received.
And even the rabbis had to do some research on things like whether certain medications were chametz. Most questions were straightforward if a little unusual: one woman worried that her dog refused to eat chametz-free dog food, only to be assured kitniyot is acceptable for pets during Passover.
And if you’re wondering, dairy cutlery can be koshered for meat–only during Passover.
COR has a useful online Passover guide I encourage you to check out to improve your own understanding of the rules and traditions.
Show me a kid who doesn’t love latkes. I don’t believe one exists. Let your kids help you cook these delicious Passover latkes. The recipe is from the Shiksa in the Kitchen, a convert to Judaism married to an Israeli gentleman.
Recipe for crispy fried potato and onion latkes made with matzo meal from Michelle Chiklis at Carpool, Couture and Cocktails. Kosher for Passover
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp matzo meal, or more as needed
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil, or more as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Applesauce and sour cream for serving
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: about 9 latkes
Kosher Key: Pareve, Kosher for Passover