Tuesday, March 12, 2019

What's New For Passover 2019

While the Jewish holiday of Passover has not lost its religious meaning, it has in recent years become an unofficial gluten-free holiday. This year, Passover begins the evening of Friday, April 19 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 27. 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 refraining from eating any wheat products 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.)

I've been chronicling new gluten-free Passover items for many years (you can read prior posts here), and this year brings many additions to the Seder table. Locally, many of these products can be found at ShopRite markets, particularly the one on Route 70 in Cherry Hill (Garden State Pavilions) and Wegmans stores.

Kosher food manufacturer Kayco will be introducing new gluten-free products under various brand names (you can find all of Kayco's gluten-free products here.) The best-selling gluten-free matzo brand, Yehuda, returns with Original, Everything, Egg, Onion, Unsalted and Fiber Enriched varieties. Yehuda also has gluten-free matzo meal, cake meal and crackers.

New from Kayco's Gefen brand are soft baked cookies in three varieties (double chocolate chip, chocolate chip, and vanilla with colored sprinkles) and sandwich creme cookies in two versions (vanilla and vanilla & chocolate).

Under its Heaven & Earth label, Kayco is introducing veggie croutons made with plantains.

This year, Manischewitz has refreshed its packaging but continues to produce a variety of gluten-free matzos and cake mixes. For 2019, the company has converted its entire line of biscotti-like mandel bread and egg kichel cookies to be gluten free. Each of the cookies come in three varieties (marble, chocolate chip nut and plain for the mandel cuts; sweet, jumbo and sugar free for the egg kichel).

Manischewitz is also adding a new birthday cake-flavored macaroon flavor this season. A new line of Passover Collection cookies (above) includes Milano-like ladyfinger, almond meltaway, chocolate chip, double chocolate chip and sandwich creme varieties.

Like Manischewitz, Streit's has made its mandel bread and kichel gluten free, but also its soup nuts, or "mandlen."

Lieber Foods is expanding their Passover baked-goods line with several kinds of cookies, including frosted animal crackers and "Aleph-Bet" cookies.

Also check the frozen-food section of your local market for gluten-free Passover pizzas and pizza bagels, blintzes, knishes and other items.

About a week or two before the start of Passover, supermarkets receive their shipments of fresh gluten-free cakes and cookies from New York bakeries such as Oberlander'sLilly's Bake Shoppe and Schick's. Look for sandwich, black-and-white and rainbow cookies, cake rolls, decorative 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 and other regions. Look for bottles with distinctive yellow caps.

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.
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