Growing up in Crown Heights, I vividly remember my late mother’s feverish preparations for the holiday. Most of what we ate was made in her kitchen, including the pastries, apple sauce, the gefilte fish and so forth. Our beverage of choice was Saratoga Geyser flavored with Kedem Raspberry Syrup. Our selection of wine was limited to the ultra-sweet Malaga and Tokay wines. It was no wonder that I would often hear people of that generation complain that there isn’t much to eat on Pesach, save for the potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and chremslach (pancakes or fritters made of matza meal or potato starch).
Fast forward to Passover 2017 when there is everything to eat. Elsewhere in this issue is a report that 52,000 (yes, you are reading this correctly) food items are certified as kosher for Passover this year, nearly double what it was in 2011. I am wondering what my mother would have said to “bread crumbs,” lughshin (noodles), croutons, and even pizza and bagels being certified kosher for Passover. True that the kosher food industry has come a long way but its strides on Passover are simply mind boggling. Oh how she would have kvelled at the thought of Coke and Pepsi for Pesach or for that matter almost 15 brands of potato chips. The next time someone says that there’s nothing to eat on Passover, just send them to a kosher supermarket.