Much like Thanksgiving, Passover creates taste memories for anyone who grows up celebrating the food-centric holiday. Here are some of our staff's favorite Passover dishes and Seder memories.
Kate Heddings, Food Director
I’m not a big brisket eater and that’s what my family always makes, so I’m much more a fan of everything that comes before the main course. I grab a big piece of matzo and pile on as much charoset and horseradish as I can. It’s the one time of year I have charoset and I love it. Then I’ll eat the hard boiled eggs and celery, which is what we use for the bitter greens in my family, and if there’s matzo ball soup, well, I love matzo ball soup too.
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Phoebe Melnick, Video Producer
My favorite thing for Passover is the brownies from Whole Foods. You know, the ones that are 90 percent fudge, 10 percent actual brownie. They're flourless brownies so they're super thick and I can take down like a whole pan in a pretty short amount of time just sitting around on my couch at home. My mom gets them just for me because I'm still a child, but the rest of my family doesn't like them as much as I do. It's probably the only reason I still go home for the Seder.
Noah Kaufman, Digital Editor
Could someone please sell charoset in one of those buckets that joint compound comes in at Home Depot? Because that is the correct amount to have on hand during Passover week. Actually, it should be made more year-round. It is also one of the few things that can make matzo tolerable, which is a heavy lift for any condiment.
Nilou Motamed, Editor in Chief
My favorite passover food is the Persian version of matzo balls called gondi. They're made with chickpea flour and ground chicken and scented with cardamom and cumin. I have no idea how to make gondi, which is why I’m grateful anytime I get invited to someone’s house who does! The chicken broth is hyper-concentrated and the dumplings are just the right balance of fluffy and dense. Gondi basically feels like a hug in a bowl.
Jordana Rothman, Restaurants Editor
I think the best Passover foods are the ones that are incidentally kosher for Passover, like fruits and vegetables and fresh foods that aren't matzo. Truth be told, I cannot stand matzo. I know that it's the bread of my affliction so I eat it with an open heart and respectful spirit, but I'm just not about it. I love my mom's matzo ball soup and she's of the cloud camp when it comes to her matzo balls (as opposed to bullets). Her matzo balls just hold their shape in the bowl and they come apart with the touch of a spoon.
Lawrence Marcus, Deputy Digital Editor
Meatballs are one of the world’s most uncontroversially appealing foods, so why do fish balls invite such contempt? Gefilte fish is delicious. If you won’t make your own and feel like you need something fancier than Manischewitz, order the excellent salmon and white fish gefilte from Russ & Daughters.
Rebekah Lowin, Digital Reporter
Charoset or haroset? I'm never sure how to spell it, but it's definitely my favorite. Every year I make it with my dad and we put apples, walnuts, lots of cinnamon, and grape juice in it. Grape juice is such a big part of Passover because I drank it when I was little instead of wine, so I love that this dish has a lot of grape juice in it. Also, since so much of the food during Passover is bitter or dry or parsley, charoset is a really nice, sweet and refreshing change in the middle of it.
Kristen Majewski, Audience Engagement Editor
My absolute favorite part of the Seder table is brisket. I still remember the first time I had brisket as a teenager and all I can say is that it was a transformative experience. During my first true Seder experience though, the one dish I couldn’t get enough of was the potato kugel. It’s everything I ever want in life: potatoes, fat, salt and a crisp crust. Everyone else loved the Passover Matzoh Crack Bark I made, although I was so worried about keeping kosher (apparently I was the only one) and not understanding the rules that I spent a small fortune on kosher for Passover vegan ingredients just to be safe.
Morgan Goldberg, Editorial Assistant
Matzo ball soup is pretty much the only Passover food I like—and I like it a lot. My Aunt Sue makes a clear, salty broth that is my absolute favorite. I don’t want any carrots or celery or chicken in there. The plain broth and one large, soft matzo ball is all I need.
Rebecca Delman, Photo Assistant
I like matzo pizza. It tastes better, depending on which matzo you use. So there's Shmurah matzo, which you're only supposed to eat after the Seder, and you do the sauce, the cheese and some veggies. Or you can use egg matzo or whole wheat matzo or white matzo—there's a whole lotta matzo out there.