Tastings: Passover treats

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Every Passover, food manufacturers create new kosher-for-Passover products. That’s good news for consumers looking for more interesting choices during the holiday. Some products are so good, you’ll want to eat them all year-round.

  • Gefen Sliced Pickled Red Beets

Pickled beets may not sound like a treat, but I like beets and love pickles. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I ate the whole 16 ounce jar in one sitting. The nutritional facts suggest seven servings per jar, but the beets served as the vegetable for my dinner. I’d only planned to have part of the jar, but ended up going back and finishing what was left.

The beets are sweet with just enough pickling so as not to overwhelm the beet flavor. Rather than the soggy texture of some jarred beets, these were crisp, with a firm and chewy texture. The ingredients are simple: just beets, sugar, acetic acid and salt. The best news? I have another jar sitting in my cupboard to eat during the holiday.


  • Manischewitz Mehadrin Dark Chocolate Coconut Patties

A character in a comic strip I like once noted that no one wants to eat the coconut candies in a box of mixed chocolate candies. Well, that character is wrong: some of us love coconut fillings, especially with dark chocolate. This Manischewitz version is one of the best I’ve ever had. The coconut patty is completely surrounded by chocolate and is so rich that just one is very satisfying. That doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to eat a second, though, because they are that good.

I was going to suggest these would make a perfect hostess/host gift when visiting someone during the holiday. The only problem will be parting with the gift. So, I suggest getting one for a gift and one for yourself. Oh, and they are pareve so you can have them after a meat meal (that is, if you don’t find yourself nibbling on them before dinner). If you like coconut candy, you’ll love these. 


  • Heaven & Earth Grain Free Tortilla Chips

Chips – any kind of chips – are a very popular American food. But there’s a problem if you don’t eat corn on Passover: the only chips available are potato chips. Not that there is anything wrong with potato chips, but they don’t generally have the same crispy crunch as corn chips.
Now you can have grain-free tortilla chips made with cassava flour to replace your corn chips. This gluten-free alternative comes in three flavors: sea salt, sweet BBQ and chili lime. I tried the BBQ, which had a nice light barbecue flavor. The chips are definitely crunchy, although the barbecue taste disappeared before I finished chewing. The basic chip taste was also fine, though, so that wasn’t a problem. Unlike some chips, these are not too salty. They are an excellent replacement for corn chips because the crunch is definitely a satisfying bite.


  • Tuscanini Sparkling Sicilian Lemonade

I don’t normally think of carbonation and lemonade, but the combination works well in the Tuscanini version. The carbonation is light: it’s like a sparkling wine, rather than soda. The lemonade is sweet, but not too sweet; the lemon flavor still manages to shine through. It comes in 9.3 fluid ounce bottles, which serve one person. This is a good replacement for soda at the seder table since it feels like a fancy treat, although anyone watching their sugar intake should note that each bottle contains 28 grams of added sugar.