These Passover Food Opinions Are 100% Correct

Unless you don't agree, and in that case, let's fight.

When the Hey Alma and Kveller (our sister site!) teams saw the Manischewitz rebrand, we knew we had to talk about it. Have you seen it? What do you think? Have you bought any of their merch? And who exactly are they targeting as their marketing demographic with this tank top?

But in all seriousness, we love the rebrand (with one tiny quibble #TEAMCAN)… but what we love even more is having the excuse to delve into the sometimes horrifying ~Passover Food Hot Takes~ from everyone on our team. So that’s exactly what we did.

Who is we? Molly Tolsky, editor of Hey Alma and Kveller; Vanessa Friedman, deputy managing editor of Hey Alma; Evelyn Frick, associate editor of Hey Alma; Lior Zaltzman, deputy managing editor of Kveller; and our amazing design team (of course we had to get professional designers in on a conversation about a rebrand): Avital Dayanim, audience engagement editor of Hey Alma; Daci Platt, audience engagement editor of Kveller; Mollie Suss, graphic designer for 70 Faces Media (our parent company!); and Grace Yagel, senior designer and multimedia editor for 70 Faces Media.

We look forward to you celebrating with us for bravely publishing every correct opinion about the Manischewitz rebrand and Passover foods in preparation for this year’s holiday — which, as a reminder, begins on Monday evening! You’re welcome.

This conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Vanessa: HELLO WELCOME TO PASSOVER FOOD HOT TAKES! To begin, let’s talk about the Manischewitz rebrand, which is what inspired this conversation. How do we feel about it?

Avital: Obsessed, honestly.

Suss: I am also obsessed! It’s much more friendly and I love the vintage vibes.

Lior: I like that it has cartoons on it because I know as a kid how much I loved staring at packaging with fun illustrations/comics.

Evelyn: OK maybe it’s because I don’t like change but I’m not a huge fan. Like, it doesn’t look bad. But the old look is so classic!

Gracey: I found out that the studio that did the rebrand is one I follow, called jkr, and they are brilliant at doing food-related branding packages. They definitely hit it out of the park with this brand. It’s so hard to do such an old brand with a familiar “look” in a new way.

Daci: I think they nailed it. Case in point: For the first time ever, I’m craving Manischewitz macaroons.

Molly: But the macaroons are in bags now! Not cans! That’s my only critique. Bring back the cans.

Evelyn: I miss the macaroon can.

Vanessa: I think we can all agree that macaroons belong in cans.

Lior: Yes! Bring back the can! We need it to store random things that aren’t macaroons once we’re done with our cookie-eating.

Evelyn: To make one final appeal for the old design — this is my boy. I know what he’s about. He’s dry and will make me constipated and will probably get put out at the grocery store during Hanukkah. And I love him.

Suss: OK that’s fair Evelyn — I do feel that someone who has no idea what matzah is might feel very misled by the bright and fun packaging.

Vanessa: OK, so what is your hottest take re: Passover food? Tell me what you love, what you hate, and why you’re Right.

Avital: Parsley in salt water is a scrumptious delicacy.

Suss: I second the parsley! I always go for seconds with my saltwater dip.

Molly: Matzah is good, actually.

Lior: Grape juice at the seder was always my favorite part.

Evelyn: No surprise here, Sephardi haroset is the best haroset.

Vanessa: Maror is better than haroset.

Gracey: Matzah is probably the only holiday food that I enjoy during the holiday but don’t really want during the rest of the year.

Avital: My roommate also wanted to contribute and says Passover chicken soup is better than regular chicken soup because of the spring chickens.

Molly: I do not know what your roommate is talking about.

Avital: Honestly, me neither.

Daci: I will eat everyone’s hard boiled egg.

Molly: Oh yeah, hard boiled egg is the star of the seder.

Vanessa: I don’t like matzah balls.

Molly: WOAH. You were withholding that hot take.

Vanessa: Matzah Balls Are Bad. — Vanessa Friedman

Evelyn: What don’t you like about them?

Vanessa: The consistency, mostly.

Molly: I love matzah balls but I don’t like when people call them “sinkers or floaters.”

Vanessa: They don’t taste good enough to justify how bad the texture is and it messes up my whole bowl of soup!

Gracey: Maybe you never had good matzah balls.

Vanessa: Unfortunately my mom would die if I told her that. But also everyone around me always enjoys the matzah balls so I do fear it’s a Me Problem, not a Matzah Ball problem. I also hate matzah brei!

Suss: I second disliking matzah brei.

Evelyn: I’ve never had it!

Molly: Do you like matzah in any form, Vanessa?

Vanessa: Love dry matzah. Love chocolate covered matzah. Love matzah with butter.

Molly: Matzah with butter on a paper towel, nothing better.

Avital: Does anybody have any feelings about Passover ketchup?

Evelyn: What is Passover ketchup?

Avital: Kosher for Passover ketchup. It’s horrendous.

Molly: I hate all ketchup.

Daci: That’s not very midwestern of you, Molly.

Avital: Molly I find that personally offensive.

Daci: I loooooove soup almonds. If they’re what I’m thinking of. That’s my favorite Passover food.

Lior: They’re so good.

Avital: They are an Every Time Of Year Food.

Vanessa: Does anyone want to tell me and Evelyn what we’re missing out on by not eating matzah brei?

Molly: Does matzah soaked in water until it gets soggy and then scrambled in eggs not speak for itself?

Daci: I feel like if you don’t like the texture of matzah balls, matzah brei is going to be a hard sell.

Lior: I don’t soak it in water so it stays kind of crunchy, if that helps.

Gracey: IDK it’s just like scrambled eggs with a nice crunch, IMO.

Daci: I use Ruth Reichl’s matzah brei recipe which is 1:1 matzah to eggs and, like, 4 sticks of butter.

Evelyn: Isn’t there a sweet version of matzah brei?

Molly: Yes it’s sweet or savory depending on if you add syrup or salt and pep. I always go sweet.

Daci: I go sweet. When else can you put jelly on scrambled eggs??

Lior: My version of matzah brei is only sweet. With sugar sprinkled on top.

Molly: Hot take — sugar is great.

Lior: So hot, it’s on fire! I eat sugar on latkes, on matzah brei and my family’s gefilte fish is sweet.



Avital: I’m nauseated.

Vanessa: I don’t want to yuck anyone’s yum but I am distressed.

Avital: Molly yucked my yum when she attacked ketchup. I think we need personal attack guidelines.

Molly: I think we can all get one free yuck pass.

Lior: I am so confident in the deliciousness of my family’s gefilte fish, I’m not even phased.

Molly: I believe you, Lior.

Evelyn: I can’t get behind gefilte fish.

Lior: The sweet with the spicy chrein (horseradish) is a heavenly experience.

Vanessa: Gefilte fish is a hard no for me unfortunately.

Daci: Manischewitz needs a collab with Fishwife to get people into gefilte fish.

Molly: OH, I have another hot take. I don’t like brisket!!!!

Avital: MOLLY.

Daci: Me either!

Suss: MOLLY!!!!

Avital: DACI.

Suss: Oh no.

Daci: Like have you ever had barbecue brisket? What are we doing here??

Molly: Well, I like it from a BBQ place. Smoked brisket is good. What I call “Jewish brisket” is bad.

Daci: Exactly.

Gracey: Brisket is definitely a Jewish thing only in America.

Lior: I never had brisket before coming here.

Avital: This is going to break our team up.

Vanessa: You’ve just never had MY brisket.

Evelyn: You’ve never had my mom’s brisket.

Avital: Or my grandma’s.

Molly: It’s possible I don’t like it because the recipe my family makes contains…. KETCHUP.

Vanessa: Last year I made brisket and a guest told me it was The Only Good Brisket She’s Ever Had, so.

Daci: Confession: I don’t think I’ve ever had a fruit jelly slice. Or if I have, it was so unremarkable that I don’t remember it.

Molly: Ooooh thank you for bringing up the fruit jelly slices, Daci. Red and orange are good, the rest are bad.

Vanessa: Green is also good

Avital: I’ve never had them!

Evelyn: I think they’re all bad.

Molly: There’s also a proper way to eat a fruit slice.

Vanessa: Describe please.

Molly: You need to bite out the middle part, leaving the rind, and then eat the rind separately. One must not eat it all together.

Vanessa: OK, yes that’s correct. Does anyone else have any specific eating rituals?

Avital: My family has this tradition of taking the matzah in your hand and wrapping your arm around your head and trying to eat it that way. According to this article it is to symbolize the route the Hebrews took from Egypt to Jerusalem.

Vanessa: I’m doing what I think you’re describing right now to practice.

Evelyn: In my family, if the maror isn’t hot enough that you feel it in your nose, the seder is ruined.

Lior: Yeah the maror has to make you tear up a little.

Vanessa: Why don’t they sell red maror in Portland, Oregon?

Evelyn: My family still talks about years where the horseradish has been a dud.

Lior: I found some at the Amish farmer’s market last weekend.

Vanessa: Brag šŸ™

Gracey: Matzah with mayo and chrein is the BEST thing ever.

Vanessa: That sounds AMAZING.

Lior: Oh I will try that Grace.

Molly: Can I get one more yuck pass? Because Grace that sounds horrible. I have been biting my tongue, but I don’t like horseradish either.

Avital: Molly, Queen of Yucks.

Daci: Molly’s seder plate is just fruit jelly slices, separated, and three hard boiled eggs.

Evelyn: Is it too spicy?

Molly: I just don’t like the flavor and I don’t like foods that make me cry. Food is supposed to help me stop crying.

Avital: Facts.

Vanessa: Does anyone have any last minute burning hot takes they must share?

Lior: Macaroons are better than macarons.

Daci: Wow Lior. Actually, I think I agree.

Lior: Especially if they’re dipped in chocolate.

Molly: Macarons are only good for like 30 minutes after they bake. Macaroons last longer (especially when canned).



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