New Jersey Jewish News
Orange you glad its Passover?
Its an odd sight to walk into an all-kosher grocery store during Passover. Drop cloths and big sheets cover the non-kosher-for-Passover products, and the yes-kosher-for-Passover products are on shelves lined with paper towels, newspapers, and brightly colored contact paper. In general grocery stores, one or two aisles are filled with kosher-for-Passover foods. No matter where you go shopping for your holiday fare, the shelves will include matza, borscht, gefilte fish, and horseradish.
Look past these familiar items and youll find new attempts at kosher-for-Passover foods such as roll mixes, breakfast cereal, and pasta! Manufacturers try hard to cash in on the buying frenzy and produce food items they hope people cant live without even if it is for just one week. It amazes me that manufacturers actually take the time to produce such unnecessary items. Surely, we can think of other things to eat, even with Passovers restrictions.
There is a way to avoid having to buy packaged cereals and desserts. Once youve filled your shopping cart with the items from the temporary kosher-for-Passover aisle, continue your shopping in the section that is always kosher-for-Passover the produce aisle. Filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, it will offer many options for meals on all eight days. The citrus section alone can add plenty of variety to your holiday menu.
The cost of citrus fruits (and other produce) is low compared to the exorbitant prices of many Passover items. The fact that grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes can last in the fridge for weeks at a time is an added bonus. The citron which gives this family of fruits its name is more frequently found in the Mediterranean countries than in the States. A smaller variety of the citron is the etrog our Sukkot ritual fruit.
The orange is the most popular citrus fruit, and, as you know, there are many varieties to choose from. The navel orange is seedless and good for eating. Other oranges are best for juicing. As for grapefruits I could pucker up from its tart flavor just thinking about them! (By the way, it got its name because it grows in bunches, like huge grapes.) Do yourself a favor and add grapefruit to your diet; Israeli researchers just issued a claim that eating it lowers cholesterol.
Although the grapefruit gets a bad rap for its sourness, lemons and limes really hit the high numbers on the pucker scale. In the 1700s, a British Navy doctor found that the juice of lemons and limes would cure sailors who were sick with scurvy, a common disease of the time. So many limes were used at sea that the sailors came to be called limeys. Years later, it was found that all citrus fruits contain vitamin C, the actual cure for scurvy.
Tangerines (also called kid-glove oranges) look like small oranges but have a milder taste and are easy to peel perfect for the little ones. You may be surprised to learn that the kumquat is also a citrus fruit. I already mentioned the citron, which, while classified as a citrus fruit, is not for eating. Its peel, however, is delicious when candied. Other less familiar citrus fruits are the pummelo, similar to big grapefruits and with very thick skin, and the calamondin, comparable but smaller than tangerines. Some of these less popular fruits are more expensive, but its a treat to indulge in them either as an ingredient in recipes or as a stand-alone dessert.
The produce aisle holds the fixings for more creative dishes than you can imagine! But for starters, try an arugula salad with grilled portobello mushrooms and grapefruit with a citrus-honey vinaigrette. Or serve thin slivers of papaya drizzled with lime. Salsas arent just about tomatoes anymore with the customary red onion, cilantro, and lime, try a homemade mango or pineapple salsa to serve with grilled chicken or fish. Pan-fried or grilled fish can be brightened up with a lemon butter and fresh herb sauce. But for a real special treat, just perfect for Passover, try this Smoked Trout Salad.Happy Pesach!
Comment | |
|©2006 New Jersey Jewish News
All rights reserved