Passover, the oldest-known annually observed holiday, celebrates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. As part of the celebration, the exodus story is remembered and retold at a seder, a special meal around a table. The dishes, layered in antiquity, directly connect to the land of Israel and resound for all those who read the Bible. In Chapter 12 of the Book of Exodus, we read, “And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” The roast refers to a one-year-old lamb, unleavened bread is matzo, and the bitter herbs, maror, are either romaine lettuce or horseradish, depending on the geographical location of those celebrating.
Fusing the cuisines from various culture, Chef Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s in Miami created carciofi alla Giudaia, or Italian Fried Artichokes, which she serves at home and at her restaurant, and Apple Fritters, a perfect dessert or breakfast dish, especially during the Passover observance.