There's much to celebrate at Passover if you're gluten free, Jewish or not. Passover, the Jewish holiday commemorating the biblical exodus from Egypt, begins this year on March 25. It's a time when many more gluten-free products are available at supermarkets. This grew out of the observance of certain segments of the Jewish population to refrain from eating wheat products at all during Passover. The packaging of many gluten-free products is expressly labeled as such, while others have a "non-gebrokts" notation. (As always, read the ingredient label before buying and consuming a particular item.)
Manischewitz has ventured into the world of gluten-free matzo with two products: Gluten-Free Matzo-Style Squares and Gluten-Free Crackers, similar to the company's famous Tam Tams. The company has brought back the gluten-free Yellow and Chocolate Cake Mixes that debuted last year, and has added to its already wide selection of macaroons - all of which are gluten free - with a red velvet flavor. Another new product from Manischewitz is frozen macaroon dough.
Another old-line matzo maker, Streit’s, debuts gluten-free Matzo Ball Mix, Matzo Ball & Soup Mix and Israeli Couscous.
Jeff Nathan Creations has brought back the Plain version of its gluten-free panko flakes and introduces a Seasoned variety.
Guiltless Gourmet Flaxseed Crunch Bars in two vegan and gluten-free flavors, Almond Cranberry Flaxseed and Cashew Cranberry Flaxseed.
Gefen has given its Passover cereal line a makeover, changing the packaging and the name from King Krunch! to Krispy Krunch.
About a week or so before the start of Passover, markets receive their shipments of fresh gluten-free cakes and cookies from New York bakeries such as Oberlander's, Shabtai Gourmet, and Schick's. Look for sandwich and rainbow cookies, cake rolls and layer cakes.
If you want to try "Mexican Coke" (made with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup), Passover Coca-Cola will be available in the Philadelphia area. Look for bottles with a distinctive yellow cap.
Returning this year are gluten-free chow mein noodles from Streit's and Paskesz, a variety of gluten-free pastas from Manischewitz and Gefen, and gluten-free pizza bagels and flatbreads.
Prices of some Passover foods tend to be higher than their non-holiday counterparts, so I suggest buying one of a particular item to see if you like it before stocking up. Keep an eye on Passover sections after the second night of the holiday, when markets tend to cut prices on whatever products are left.