The Passover Seder includes a series of symbolic foods placed on a Seder plate, most of which are explained over the course of the meal: the matzo, the spring greens, the bitter herbs, the shankbone… But one element is left unexplained: the charoset, a paste-like mixture of fruit, nuts and spices, with recipes differing wildly from community to community. Although it is eaten with matzo and maror during Korekh, just before the meal, there is no discussion of its significance or acknowledgement of its symbolism in the Haggadah text. Why was it added to the Seder? What might it represent? And why are there so many recipes?
As I covered the news of the White House Seder over the last few days — and then the news of a White House Seder minus POTUS and family — I came across a big cache of images of White House Seders past, those held during the Obama Administration. They made me very nostalgic, but they also lifted me up.
Gefilte may be the most ubiquitous fish dish in the Jewish culinary lexicon, whether we’re talking about the mass-produced, jarred versions available at supermarkets or the ready-made kind from kosher-style delis and dairy appetizer stores. But it is also the most celebratory fish dish, closely related to the haute-cuisine triumph quenelles de brochet.
Having posted Sunday that President Donald Trump would be hosting a Seder at the White House Monday evening for the first night of Passover, I was somehow not surprised to read that he was, in fact, a no-show.
As I first bit into this delicious Georgian beef stew, I was intrigued by the fact that, as with many early Jewish recipes I have found around the world, the beef, often a tough inexpensive cut, is first boiled in water until it is almost tender and then layered with flavor from onions, spices, and bright red bell peppers. No browning the meat first for this recipe! After slowly simmering the beef for a few hours, you are rewarded with a melt-in-your-mouth, silky stew—a perfect main dish for Passover or any special occasion throughout the year. And, as they say in Georgia, —ghmert`ma shegargos, or bon appétit!