What to Bring to a Passover Dinner

by Lisbeth Booth

    Passover is an important of Jewish holiday, and most Jewish families celebrate with an elaborate Passover dinner, also called the Seder. If you and your family are invited to a Seder dinner, there are many things that you can contribute to this special dinner. Be sure that you are well versed on Passover dietary rules so that you don't accidentally bring something that is forbidden by kosher law.

    The main course at a seder usually consists of a meat dish, but Passover rules do not dictate any specific meat. If your hostess asks you to provide a main dish, brisket is the most traditional option, but it is not essential. Veal shoulder is another option, or you could go with roast chicken, fish or a vegetarian entree like eggplant cutlets. Just make sure that all menu items are kosher and do not contain any bread that is not unleavened, pork or the combination of meat and dairy.

    Any seder dinner features a host of courses and side dishes, some of which are traditional, some of which are not. Ask what your hostess has already planned for the meal so that you don't duplicate any items. Offer to help with the traditional seder plate, which consists of a lamb shankbone, a roasted egg, a traditional fruit and nut paste called haroset, as well as some other items. Matzo ball soup is another traditional Passover item that you could offer to bring. From there, the side dish options are as varied as the main dish choices. Bring a vegetable side dish such as asparagus, a salad or roasted potatoes. Be sure to observe all kosher laws when preparing your dishes.

    As with most celebratory dinners, desserts are a very important part of Passover, and most seder dinners feature rich desserts worthy of the holiday. Keep in mind that flour can not come in contact with water for any part of the Passover dinner, so be careful when choosing cakes or pastries. Flourless cake recipes are a good choice, as are tortes, meringues, fruit and sorbets.

    If you're nervous about cooking in accordance to kosher law or don't have time to prepare an elaborate dish, consider bringing a beverage to seder. Naturally, there are certain rules that also apply to Passover drinks. Corn syrup is prohibited during Passover, so many sodas and juices are not allowed. If you choose to bring wine, soda or juice to seder dinner, ensure that it is labeled "kosher for Passover."

    About the Author

    As a professional journalist since 1998, Lisbeth Booth has worked as a writer and an editor at several magazines. Her career has focused on music and film criticism but she has also written about lifestyle topics such as parenting and home design. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Calgary.

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