Side dishes, dessert, Matzo Balls

Amanda M. Rye

At sundown on Saturday, millions of Jews worldwide will be marking the start of Passover with a Seder meal. The eight-day Jewish holiday celebrates freedom commemorating the Jewish exodus from Egypt. During the Seder meal, the retelling of the exodus takes place through stories, songs and ceremonial foods. Certain foods symbolic of Passover include bitters herbs and matzo, arranged on a Seder plate.

It’s a strict food holiday that requires Jews to rid their pantries of all leavened products. No leavening ingredients (baking powder, yeast, baking soda) are used. Wheat products, like flour, are not used, so in many Passover recipes, matzo cake meal and matzo meal are used instead.

Key ingredients for Passover include eggs and matzo.

Eggs are symbolic because they signify springtime and rebirth. They also serve as a leavening agent – especially beaten egg whites. Matzo in sheets or ground is ubiquitous during Passover. The cracker-like sheets symbolize the bread that had no time to rise as the Jewish people fled Egypt.

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