Ask a Jew: Kosher for Passover
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I want to make or give my Jewish friends something for Passover. I know there’s a lot they can’t eat, so what can I give them?
My biggest tip is that food needs to be Kosher for Passover, not just Kosher.
Some people think that Passover just means no bread, but the dietary restrictions are actually much more than that.
During Pesach (Passover), there are restrictions on grain (wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and rye), yeast, fermentation, and any items that have previously come in contact with those. Some communities also don’t eat kitniyot which are things like beans, rice, seeds, and corn. Houses are thoroughly cleaned to remove even crumbs.
Anything cooked in a kitchen that hasn’t been kashered for Pesach isn’t kosher for Pesach. So it’s best to purchase something specifically labeled “Kosher for Passover.”
There are Kosher for Passover packaged items you can give them. Many stores (especially in Spokane) have teeny tiny Passover sections, but you can usually find boxes of candies and things of the sort in the small kosher section at most grocery stores. There are also options online where you can order Kosher for Passover gift baskets. Just look closely to be sure the baskets are listed as specificially, “Kosher for Passover,”
The biggest thing to look for is the “Kosher for Passover” label. Things have to be Kosher for Passover. They can’t just be Kosher. Something like a box of Kosher crackers would be great the rest of the year, but can’t even be brought into the house during Passover. This is the most common misunderstanding I’ve seen. People see “Kosher” and think that’s good, but, during Pesach, we need “Kosher for Passover.”
It’s wonderful that you know about Pesach and want to reach out to your Jewish friends. That’s so thoughtful! A box of Kosher for Passover candy or a Kosher for Passover gift basket will likely be appreciated.
Dorothy-Ann Parent (better known as Hyphen) is a writer, a traditional Jew, a seeker of justice, a lover of stories and someone who’s best not left unattended in a bookshop or animal shelter.