by Cameron Curtis in Holidays, April 2nd, 2015
by Sara Levine in Recipes, View All Posts, April 12th, 2014
The eight-day festival of Passover commemorates the freeing of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. The highlight of Passover is the Seder, which is observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. In honor of the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, leavened grain (including bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta) is not allowed at Seder. Instead, matzo (a crisp, unleavened bread) is eaten, along with other traditional Jewish foods.
Eli Zabar is New York City’s iconic and pioneering grocer and caterer, with markets, cafes and restaurants on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Namesake company owner Eli and his team cater more than 500 Passover Seders in New York City. And yet the father of two still finds time to host the family’s Seder at home. “The Zabar family has divided up all the holidays: One gets Hanukkah, one gets Thanksgiving and so on. We like hosting Passover, since it’s a lively, happy time. My whole family shows up! We’re going to be about 35 this year. One of the things that’s happened over the years is that these little kids who didn’t take up any seats and used to spend their time playing or looking for the afikoman are now young adults in need of seats and we’re trying to figure out how to fit more people in.” His Seder uses everything that is featured in his store, and he makes sure to include his favorite dishes, plus a chocolate-covered matzo sweet treat (recipe below).
by Jennifer Perillo in Holidays, March 19th, 2013
Aside from the old reliables — always-addictive chocolate matzo brittle, from-scratch coconut macaroons and flourless chocolate cake — Passover desserts are usually forgettable. Attempts at kosher-for-Passover versions of cookies and brownies never turn out very well, and those sugared jelly candies always make an appearance but remain untouched on the Seder dessert spread. Fortunately, we rounded up five decadent new desserts that are worth making whether you’re observing Passover or not.
Lemon-Coconut Matzo Jelly Roll
This flour-free, non-dairy dessert will make an impressive showing when sliced on the post-Seder dessert table. Read more
I didn’t grow up eating matzo, but I was always intrigued by it, almost jealous in a way because it wasn’t part of my Catholic upbringing. I can see all of my Jewish friends rolling their eyes as they read this. One bite of matzo and you soon realize, on its own, there’s nothing to write home about.
What makes matzo so special is the significance it carries during the Jewish holiday of Passover, in which leavened products are forbidden (read more about why here). Matzo is made using just flour and water, resulting in a thin, very crisp cracker essentially. It became a part of my culinary world when I met my husband, Mikey, who was Jewish, 18 years ago. While he wasn’t observant, the holidays were rituals he celebrated regardless. And so, each year as Passover came around, matzo became a part of my cooking repertoire. In its most-simple form, I love eating matzo slathered with butter and a drizzle of some good honey.
Make matzo bruschetta