NEW YORK, N.Y. – Remember when Passover was more about what you couldn’t eat than what you could eat? Not anymore, says Bill Springer, co-producer of Kosherfest, the largest kosher food, wine and spirits trade show.
“Today, the breadth of Passover foods has become almost limitless, as consumers demand upscale, gourmet, dietetic, gluten-free….and a version of almost everything they eat and drink during the rest of the year,” said Springer.
With Passover just about a month away, a new application aims to help consumers keep kosher throughout the eight-day Jewish festival and stay up to date on kosher products throughout the rest of the year. Released by the Orthodox Union (OU), the app called OU Kosher provides consumers with updates on products that have been certified by the OU, which is the world’s largest kosher certification agency (ou.org/apps).
This year’s nominees in the Kosherfest New Products Competition (Passover category), included Mikee Mango Duck Sauce (Exotic Sauce Packaging, Inc), Chocolate Frogs and Chocolate Locusts (Zelda’s Sweet Shoppe), Coconut Macaroon Pie Shell (Manischewitz), Red Velvet Cake (Manischewitz), Matzah Dipped in Mint Dark Chocolate (Osem USA), Sweet Goodies Licorice (Kedem Food Products), Tishbi Strawberry Champagne Preserve (Fruit of the Land), and Passover Kitchenware
(The Kosher Cook).
“Pasta” for Passover includes Manischewitz’s spiral and shell shaped gluten–free pasta, made in Israel, which can be topped with Eden Organic Spaghetti sauce, No Salt Spaghetti sauce, Pizza Pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, crushed tomatoes with sweet basil, and crushed tomatoes with roasted onion and garlic. Other pasta toppers are Almacen Cuna de Olivares Vero Andino and Olikids Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from Argentina), Valterra Extra Virgin Olive Oil (DSI Int Traders), and Olive Oil, Kalamata and Giant Santa epicurean olives. An alternative to pasta is an entry from OSEM, Sugat Royal White Quinoa.
For cooking up meats, chicken, fish and adding flavor to just about anything, there’s Passion Fruit Obsession, Passion Fruit sauce and Charoset (from OXYGEN IMPORTS). “Breadcrumbs” get a Passover make-over with All Natural Gluten Free Panko Flakes (Jeff Nathan Creations), gluten-free Pesach crumbs (Mishpacha), Yehuda’s Gluten Free Cake Meal, and Yehuda’s Gluten Free Toasted Onion Matzo style Square line (which can be crushed into coating crumbs.)
From Meal Mart (Alle Processing Corp) comes natural beef, grass fed steer raised on open ranges, with no hormones and no preservatives for unique flavor and tenderness. Fresh ground beef, rib eye steaks and minute steaks are available along with a fully cooked line of Whole Rotisserie Duck, Turkey and Chicken for Passover. For kids there are Buffalo wings, fun shaped nuggets and grilled chicken cutlets. Those who crave a little extra spice in their lives, kick it up a notch with Jack’s Gourmet Beef-Kielbasa sausage – and spicy southwestern style (all gluten free).
There’s no limit to matzah this year. You can find everything from hand-made, round ‘shmura’ matzah, in plain, rosemary, oregano and olive oil flavors; Osem’s thin matzah in original and whole wheat, sandwich matzah strips, and matzah dipped in milk chocolate, dark mint chocolate and white chocolate.
This year at the Streits Matzah all the MSG, sulfites, and additives have been removed from their packaged products and replaced with low sodium, real, whole foods good for Passover and beyond. Their new recipes can now be found in all Whole Foods grocery stores. Streits macaroons are made with no-sulfites, all-natural coconut, using real chocolate and real almonds instead of artificial flavoring. Streits has also tweaked its cake mix formula which is now all natural.
Streits continues to bake at its factory on New York’s historical Lower East Side, the oldest bakery in the country where consumers can visit and get factory tours. They will be hosting a free tour and Mama Doni band concert, giving away samples of their macaroons & matzos on March 18 at the Streits factory located at: 150 Rivington Street, NY, NY 10002. Family owned & operated, baking Matzos with NYC water at the original location, Streits is the oldest Matzah bakery in the world.
There are desserts for Passover that taste like the goodies eaten year-round. From Hagadda comes a bounty of muffins, breakfast cakes, fancy sheet cakes, 7-layer cakes, miniatures, sugar-free, and special occasion cakes. Zelda’s offers bakery cookies, fudge frosted brownies, chocolate dipped marshmallows, award-winning Chiffon cake and cinnamon almond Mandelbrot. Shabtai Gourmet’s Gluten Free, dairy free, peanut free line of cakes includes Melt away pecan sandies, Florentine lace cookies, and brownie bite cupcakes, among their 20 or more Passover cakes.
Delicious chocolates are boxed for gift-giving from EMPRESS Chocolates, with everything from Passover Seder symbols, to fancy truffles in brandy, raspberry and crème de menthe assortments. Klein’s Real Kosher Ice Cream offers up vanilla yogurt bars with pomegranate sherbet at only 72 calories per bar.
From Levana comes her newest cookbook chock full of wonderful Passover recipes: The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple, Cookbook author Norene Gilletz offers up a scrumptious selection of quick, healthy Passover recipes and terrific tips from her best-selling cookbooks: The NEW Food Processor Bible: 30th Anniversary Edition, Norene’s Healthy Kitchen and Healthy Helpings.
Consumers will have the chance to win their very own basket of new Kosher for Passover products donated by Kosherfest exhibitors. Check out these bloggers for more information: Primetimeparenting.com; kosheronabudget.com, and koshershopaholic.com.
According to Menachem Lubinsky, founder and co-producer of Kosherfest, “Some 400 new items will be introduced for Passover this year with many appearing on grocery shelves. According to various studies, some 78% of American Jews will observe at least one Seder this Passover, making it the most widely observed holiday on the Jewish calendar.”
Kosherfest 2012 will take place Nov. 13-14, 2012 at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, NJ (www.kosherfest.com).