Few foods represent Passover as much as a box of matzah, gefilte fish, and those dense and chewy coconut macaroons. Most foods at the seder have symbolic ties to the story of Passover, or at least to a traditional Eastern European or Sephardic recipe. But not so for coconut macaroons. How did these tropical coconut-based treats make their home on the Passover grocery store shelf?
When “Everything Bagel Seasoning” was named an official buzzword by food trend forecasters earlier this year, we were thrilled, but not that surprised. For the past few years, everything bagel seasoning has definitely cropped up in unexpected places right here on the Nosher–everything bagel latkes, anyone?–and we’ve been taking note.
Beans are a staple food on many Cuban dinner tables: they are inexpensive, can feed an army and are easily adaptable to whatever you find in your fridge and pantry. There’s something about a pot of beans, simmering low and slow on the stove all day, allowing all of the flavors and aromas to release, that screams home-cooked comfort. Plus, nothing sticks to your ribs on a cold day better than a good bean soup or stew. To be fair, I’d eat this even on a warm day. In fact, I remember a distinctively warm winter night in Santiago de Cuba, when after a grueling day of distributing humanitarian aid to those in need, my mom and I wanted nothing more than a good, hearty chickpea stew. Lucky for us, my mom’s cousin Virginia who is known for being a great cook, surprised us that evening with exactly the comfort food that we had a hankering for.
Now here’s some exciting news: The Girl Scouts have been working hard at making sure their cookies can be enjoyed by anyone with diet restrictions, including vegans and those who keep kosher.
Matzah Brei (pronounced mat-za bry) is a classic Passover dish of scrambled eggs and matzah, often enjoyed on the morning after the Passover seder and throughout the holiday. It’s a tasty and filling dish for those keeping kosher for Passover, a time during which breads and bagels are verboten (the horror!). Everything from its ingredients to the way you make it is adaptable, which is why its precise definition can be so elusive.
Whether we like it or not, what we ate growing up shapes us one way or another. While some take pride in re-creating their mother’s recipes, others prefer to start culinary traditions of their own. For Dawn Lerman, it was definitely the latter.
My little sister April and I loved to play a game called “Big Sister Little Sister.” Whoever was the big sister would make an elaborate snack for the other. The little sister also got to be the royal princess for the evening and would lounge in my parent’s bed—our magical fortress. We were not really allowed to be in my parent’s room or eat in their bed but when they were out, the house was ours and their bed was our castle. When it was my turn I would create elaborate dishes that I meticulously prepared, after all I was 9.
Chicken soup is one of the most comforting dishes in the world, and I know every culture has their own version. It’s not only delicious, but it also has healing powers. It’s not called Jewish penicillin for nothing, after all.
One of the most frequently asked questions that we get about hamantaschen (and all desserts, for that matter) is, “What about a sugar-free recipe?” And recently, we’ve been getting more grain-free requests, too. As our gluten-free and sugar-free readers know, it’s no easy task finding such recipes; internet searches yield dicey results, and seemingly straightforward substitutes–like gluten-free flour for flour, or stevia extract for sugar–can really turn on you.