Passover is a spring festival celebrated by Jews that commemorates their freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt. During this celebration, kosher guidelines become stricter and there are certain dietary concepts that must be followed to respect Jewish liberation.
Below is a list of basic Jewish dietary laws that are followed year-round, as well as, some dietary restrictions that kosher consumers should adhere to during Passover.
Foods that shouldn’t be consumed during Passover
Per Jewish laws, certain meats are considered unhealthy and should be avoided no matter the day or occasion, these foods are the following:
Pork, shellfish, crab, rabbit, and seafood without fins or scales. You should also avoid any products that contain ingredients of these foods.
Meat and dairy must not be eaten together
Make sure that you are not combining foods such as cheese, butter, or cream sauce on your beef or chicken dish. The Torah orders that people should never “boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” So, this command should be followed by carefully watching what you are combining into your meals.
Fish and eggs can be eaten together since they are considered neutral.
Restrictions during Passover
There are two major Jewish groups in the world; Ashkenazi and Sephardi. Although both groups have different food traditions, they both avoid the eating of Chametz during Passover—as these foods are prohibited by the Torah. Chametz is any food products or recipes that may contain the following grains:
Wheat, oats, rye, barley, and spelt.
If these grains have had contact with water for longer than 18 minutes they are prone to “leavening,” which creates yeast and sourdough that is also considered Chametz.
Foods that are avoided for their similarity to Chametz
Another food that is restricted during Passover is Kitniyot. Many Ashkenazi Jews avoid the consumption of Kitniyot mainly for the way it swells when it’s being cooked—something they felt was a sign of leavening. Although this food is not specifically prohibited by the Torah, the Ashkenazi Jews prefer not to consume it for its close resemblance to grains. Kitniyot items include rice, corn, millet, dried beans and lentils, green beans, soybeans, peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seed, and mustard.
Foods to eat during Passover
There are tons of foods that can be eaten during Passover. One of the most common foods that are eaten during this holiday, is matzah or matzah meals. Matzah is an unleavened cracker-like bread made of flour and water. People are encouraged to eat matzah during this time because of its symbolic nature. When the Israelites departed Egyptian slavery, they didn’t have time to see the rise of the bread they had baked—which is the reason why the Torah encourages the consumption of flatbread (matzah) in commemoration of the departure.
Other foods that may be consumed are the following:
– Matzo in any form
– Any kind of fruit
– Any kind of vegetable (excluding those discussed under Foods that are avoided for their similarity to Chametz)
–Beef, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, or fish with scales. To keep strictly kosher, the meat must be koshered by a kosher butcher or sold as a kosher cut of meat.
– 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 only if they aren’t mixed with additives (like corn syrup). Keep in mind that dairy products cannot be mixed with meat.
– Quinoa. 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
For more information about kosher products or to purchase kosher meat online got to www.kohnskosher.com. We are a kosher restaurant in St. Louis Missouri and we provide readymade meals for Passover and other occasions. We also have a kosher grocery and bakery.