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Traditional Passover Seder Foods

Traditional Passover Seder foods have deep meanings


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There are a number of foods eaten during the ritual Seder family meal partaken on the first two nights of Passover. Family customs may vary the items served at the Seder, but the following food items traditionally appear on the Seder plate:

• Matzoh: Three unleavened matzohs are placed within the folds of a napkin as a reminder of the haste with which the Israelites fled Egypt, leaving no time for dough to rise. Two are consumed during the service, and one (the Aftkomen), is spirited away and hidden during the ceremony to be later found as a prize.

• Maror: bitter herbs, usually horseradish or romaine lettuce, used to symbolize the bitterness of slavery.

• Charoses: a mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon, as a reminder of the mortar used by the Jews in the construction of buildings as slaves

• Beitzah: a roasted egg, as a symbol of life and the perpetuation of existence.

• Karpas: a vegetable, preferably parsley or celery, representing hope and redemption; served with a bowl of salted water to represent the tears shed.

• Zeroah: traditionally a piece of roasted lamb shankbone, symbolizing the paschal sacrificial offering

• Wine: four glasses of wine are consumed during the service to represent the four-fold promise of redemption, with a special glass left for Elijah the prophet. Further Passover References:

Passover Seder History
Passover Recipes


Jewish Cooking in America
The New York Times Passover Cookbook
The Complete Passover Cookbook
Passover Lite Kosher Cookbook
More Cookbooks
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