Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Zeisen Pesach

I’d like to wish my Jewish readers a sweet Passover, and may all your seders be worth writing home about.

While we’re on the subject, though, there’s one thing I’m curious about. It has to do with Passover desserts. People have to find kosher-for-Passover desserts for their seders, and that often means flourless cakes or macaroons. I’m fine with macaroons, but I don’t get the Passover cake thing. Why bother with a cake you wouldn’t give a second look any other time of the year when there are plenty of other acceptable desserts—sorbet, for instance? Is it to remind us that our ancestors in the dessert couldn’t have good cake? As far as I know, there’s nothing in Jewish law or tradition that stipulates a second-rate cake for a seder. For Jewish foodies I suspect that finding a respectable substitute cake that fits the rules is a challenge they rise to, even if the cake can’t. All in all, it makes as much sense to me as the mock pig’s intestine made from wheat gluten I once saw in the freezer of a Chinese vegetarian shop.


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