It was said once of a learned rabbi that when it came time for the Passover meal, he would turn his plate upside down. “No matter what I eat, it will offend at least one person’s customs,” he explained. While the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) says only to eat matzah and not eat anything leavened on Passover, the laws regarding what one may and may not eat on Passover are more varied than the subcultures within Judaism.
The blonde-haired Danish Jew will be every bit as surprised at what his fellow ebony Ethiopian Jew considers “kosher for Passover” as his olive-skinned Italian brother. And in every family one usually can find dissent over what is permissible and what isn’t. But from the diaspora has come an amazing variety of wonderful Passover dishes. Today, most Passover recipes—typically forgoing grains—make fantastic gluten-free menu additions as well. Here are two desserts, each borrowing from this trove of tradition.
Story and recipes by David Feder, a food writer in Buffalo Grove, Ill.