Friday, April 22, 2005

Beware the Passover Aisle!

Just a quick heads-up for those still shopping for Passover: Beware the Passover aisle! Some supermarkets are very diligent about keeping their Passover aisle stocked only with Kosher-for-Passover items, but others are very sloppy about it. In my neck of the woods, Pathmark has always been very diligent, and a new Genuardis seems to be very good, but the Acme near me has always been appalling. Not really surprising, coming from a chain that once ran a full-page ad in the Sunday paper announcing a sale on “Challah, a Passover Tradition!” Challah is a kind of bread, and the only Passover tradition related to it is not eating it!

I just got back from a last-minute shopping trip to my Acme, picking up eggs and milk before Passover starts, and I noticed that they had shelved some Hamentaschen in the Passover aisle. Hamentaschen are Purim cookies. I’ve never heard of kosher-for-Passover hamentaschen, but I gave Acme the benefit of the doubt and carefully checked the label. Not surprisingly, it’s not kosher for Passover. They’re wheat cookies, leavened with yeast. It doesn’t get any less kosher for Passover than that. It’s not the first time I’ve had this kind of problem at this Acme.

When I flagged down a clerk in the store and told him of the problem, he looked at the label and said, “It says kosher.” I told him, “It doesn’t say kosher-for-Passover. Passover is different.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I dunno.” He did nothing about it, nor did he inform anyone.

This kind of misshelving is standard operational procedure at my Acme, and the uncaring attitude of the store clerk is also standard. Your grocery store may be the same.

Don’t assume that everything in the Passover aisle is kosher for Passover! Before you buy anything for Passover, check the label carefully. There should be a P to the right of the kosher certification symbol, or the words “Kosher for Passover” in English or Hebrew. If you can’t find those markings, it’s NOT kosher for Passover!

Caveat Pesach Emptor! Passover Buyer Beware!

Have a happy and kosher Pesach!

Passover Cooking Tips at Judaism 101:
(includes examples of Passover kosher certification marks)
Passover at Judaism 101:
Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws at Judaism 101:

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