What’s new in Passover food

Photo by David Stuck

Gluten-free matzah squares. Matzah s’mores kits. Baby quinoa. They are among the new Passover foods this holiday and have been spotted in four Montgomery County supermarkets. The eight-day holiday begins at sundown on April 10.

Manischewitz’s S’more Matzo Kit and Matzo Pizza Kit are among the items stocked at Harris Teeter on Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda last week. To the eye of this Passover consumer these two products resembled boxes of Lunchables in a way that screams to parents, “Buy these for the kids.” The Matzo Pizza Kit is in a red, green and white triangular package.

The selection at the nearby Giant at Montrose Crossing in Rockville was more extensive, with half an aisle of Passover foods — in addition to store’s kosher food section.

Giant carries the s’mores and pizza kits, as well as Geffen Coffee Bean Chocolate Bark and Lieber’s Animal Crackers. Giant stores are carrying more than 100 new Passover items, according to the company. Among them: imitation crab meat, gluten-free meatballs and stuffing mix. We found Paskesz Confetti Cookies sold in the Passover section. They turned out to be tasty, but not kosher for Passover.
A recent decision by the Conservative movement allowing Passover consumption of kitniyot, which include rice and beans, opened a new business opportunity for Moti’s Market in Rockville.


The story now carries pasta made from brown rice, tomato paste, Dijon mustard and various spices for Passover, said co-owner Tracy Yitzhaky.

“These are new things to the community because now you can buy pastas and everything, and that’s going to really impact this year’s market,” she said. “I think the community’s taking advantage of kitniyot products.”

In addition to traditional matzah and macaroons, Moti’s also sells Bamba peanut snacks that Yitzhaky said are popular in Israel.

Shalom Kosher in Silver Spring now carries Passover-friendly stick margarine. For cooks who are accustomed to buying margarine in bulk, this can be a welcome change, said Justin Dekelbaum, an owner.

“For all Jewish grandmas it’s a big deal,” he said. “Nobody likes taking a one-pound block and cutting it into four because all of the recipes are divided that way.”

One tasty new Passover item is Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares made by Yehuda. They come in three varieties: regular, fiber-enriched and toasted onion. The package carries a warning that the cracker should not be used as a replacement for matzah during the seder. But if you need an unleavened snack to munch on while watching Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments,” this will get you out of Egypt.

The toasted onion version is flavorful and not too salty, and does not require butter.

KosherToday estimates that between 35 and 40 percent of all kosher food sales occur at Passover.

There’s no word yet on how well the Gluten Free Matzo Squares are selling.

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