Break out the gin, vodka, Sea Breeze and Mojito mixers, Passover is here… hard to believe but they are among the newest and most innovative offerings for Passover 2011, and a far cry from our forefathers’ Seder libations.
No. 209 San Francisco Gin is the only kosher for Passover gin in the world, made from all natural botanicals with a sugar cane base for Passover use. The gin is 46% alcohol, 92 proof, manufactured by Distillery No. 209 of San Francisco. For Passover cocktail recipes visit the website at www.209Gin.com.
Zachlawi of Ocean, N.J. produces Passover cocktails including Sea Breeze and Mojito, both 36 Proof and 18% alcohol. In addition to cocktails, the company produces premium Passover Arak and Passover vodka.
“Passover represents 40% of annual kosher food sales and each year more and more new products are introduced to keep up with the needs of the growing and ever-changing kosher consumer,” says Bill Springer, co-producer of Kosherfest, the largest kosher food, wine and spirits trade show.
“Passover used to be the holiday where you were very limited in what you could drink and eat, in order to maintain a diet free of leavened bread. Today, the breadth of Passover foods has become almost limitless, as consumers demand Passover ‘bagels,’ ‘pizza,’ ‘dinner rolls,’ and everything they eat and drink during the rest of the year while still keeping the dietary laws of the 8-day holiday,” adds Springer.
More familiar brands that were never before Kosher for Passover are now kosher for the first time for this holiday. Among them are Lipton® Kosher Soup Secrets Matzah Ball and Soup Mix and Lipton® Kosher Matzah Ball Soup, Lay’s® Potato Chips, Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Seasonings, Blanchard & Blanchard Hot Sauces (Caribbean Mango Fruit and Louisiana Cayenne Pepper), and Osem’s Bamba and Bissli snacks, both in a variety of flavors and new packaging for Passover.
Gluten-free and organic continue to be popular Kosher for Passover items on supermarket shelves this year, with new introductions from Gefen (gluten-free cakes, cake frosting, cereals and matzah squares), Shabtai Gourmet’s Yidels Devils Food-Mini Chocolate Swiss roll (winner of Kosherfest’s 2010 Passover Best New Product), Benz’s gluten free gefilte fish, Noam Gluten-free Passover Pizza Bagels, and Holy Cow! Passover Beef and Turkey Jerky. Mother’s Brand margarine and butter will introduce a light spreadable gluten-free butter and buttery spray. Among the organic items from Osem are Ora’s Organics Tea Sensations with red tea, herbal tea, black tea, fruit tea, green tea and gift box teas available. Osem also offers a line of gluten-free cakes in six flavors, and new gluten-free mini croutons. From Aviv comes an entire line of organic matzahs, including mini matzahs, matzah farfel, matzah meal and cake meal. Oxygen Imports offers Organic honey, and organic Halva and Honey spread. Organic strawberry, cherry and apricot fruit spreads are a natural line of organic, no cane sugar added spreads from Beit Yitzhak.
Condiments, oils, jams and jellies, marinades and sauces for Passover are more popular than ever, with some very gourmet offerings. From Oxygen Imports comes Spicy Mexican marinade, Kiwi & Mango Preserves, Zesty Indian Marinade, dates & walnut spread with honey, citrus fusion sauce, Extra Virgin Olive Oil First Cold Press, and a variety of marinated pickles, olives and cucumbers. Tishbi wine and fruit preserves for Passover include Cherry Shiraz, Mango Chardonnay, Fig Cabernet, Sangria, Strawberry Champagne, Fruit Passion Champagne, Merlot Wine Jelly and Riesling Wine Jelly. Beit Yitzhak offers a line of 100% fruit spread using natural fruit instead of cane sugar. Fig, quince, and cinnamon are among their flavors. From Pereg comes Crunchy Topping mixes (pistachio, cranberry, mushroom or onion flavors), as well as a huge variety of spices, herbs, mixed spices, and Charoset date spread.
Got Matzah? Osem, Yanovsky and Manischewitz all bring new and expanded matzah offerings for Passover 2011. From Israel comes Osem’s value-added 5 lb. whole wheat and regular 5 lb. matzah (both varieties offered at the same price). This year Osem will enclose a free matzah freshness pouch, product coupons, and make a $2.00 donation to plant trees in Israel with each purchase. Osem will also offer 3 varieties of chocolate covered matzah –plain, raspberry and orange. Yanovsky matzah (Argentina), offers 18-minute matzah, 18-minute matzah meal, shmura matzah meal, shmura matzah crackers, matzah sticks, sweet matzah made with grape juice, as well as Passover farfalach (pre-cooked pasta) and cous-cous. Manischewitz goes sweet on us with chocolate covered matzah crackers and chocolate egg matzah crackers.
If you’re looking for the perfect Passover menu, flip through the pages of… Levana Kirschenbaum’s “Levana’s Table,” Sue Fishkoff’s “Kosher Nation,” Gil Marks’s “The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food.” Jamie Geller’s “Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes From the Bride Who Knew Nothing,” and Kosher Inspired, a new kosher food magazine for kosher foodies.