A week from today, Jews the world over will sit down to the first of two seders — ritual dinners that usher in the eight-day holiday of Passover. During that period, many observers will abstain from eating leavened grains, which are prohibited.
Mindful of the limitations of matzoh as a stand-in for sandwich bread and willing to overlook the reality that such items violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law, kosher food makers each year attempt to outdo each other with products that simulate the properties of leavened grains and other forbidden foods. Herewith this year’s “cheat” list.
If you are Jewish and can’t survive eight days without a slice of pizza, veteran matzoh baker Streit’s claims to have your number. The company’s All-Purpose Dough Mix, according to its packaging, is good “for pizza, bagels, rugelach.” As with so many mixes for baked goods marketed during Passover, this one calls for the addition of eggs, the whites of which are a natural leavener. Never mind the effect their flavor or that of potato flour — the chief starch in the mix — have on the finished product. Note that Streit’s is also offering a Dinner Roll Mix.
In many Jewish households, matzoh brei (aka “fried matzoh”) — a breakfast dish made by soaking matzoh in beaten eggs, then frying — is served with maple syrup as a Passover alternative to pancakes. This year you can eat your matzoh brei and have your pancakes too thanks to Kosher food mogul Manischewitz, which is unveiling a kosher-for-Passover Pancake Mix. The starch in the mix is Passover cake meal. As with any conventional pancake mix, you add milk and an egg.
Gefen Original Crispy-o’s is something of a headscratcher insofar as Cheerios, the breakfast cereal it is meant to replicate, are made without wheat flour. To add to the confusion, the Passover variant contains no oats, the principal grain in Cheerios. The lone starch featured in the product is tapioca starch. A chocolate version, made using cocoa, is also available.