Passover — the Jewish spring holiday that remembers the miraculous liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt — is a multiple-day celebration rich in tradition. The Passover Seder is the ceremonial meal that marks the beginning of the observance. [related]
As we mentioned above, tradition and ceremony play an important part in the Passover celebration — the Seder, which begins after sundown, is certainly no exception. It includes a retelling of the story of the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt. Those who celebrate use a Haggadah to lead them through the ceremonies of the Seder, which include singing, reading, drinking ceremonial wine, and discussing the symbolism of the foods arranged on a Seder plate.
Matzo, a special type of unleavened bread, is one food commonly associated with Passover. The absence of any leavened bread at the table serves as a reminder of the hurry with which the Israelites fled — so quickly that they did not have time to wait for any dough to rise. The matzo eaten during Passover symbolizes freedom and hope and also reminds one to be humble, since leavened bread, with all its puffiness and hot-air-action is associated during this time with pride and corruption.
Bitter herbs, known as maror, are another aspect of the Seder meal, with their bitterness symbolizing the bitterness of the enslavement in Egypt. Charoset, a traditional mixture of fruit, nuts, and other sweet ingredients and spices, evokes the mud bricks or mortar used in the building work the enslaved Israelites were forced to do.
After the ceremonial meal, most enjoy a modest feast among friends and family, and there are plenty of tasty dishes that can complement cherished traditions. We searched The Daily Meal recipes archives high and low to find some of our most delicious (kosher!) recipes — from slow-roasted salmon and classic braised brisket (with a speedy twist) to matzo ball soup and more — to try this Passover, so click onward for the 11 essential Passover recipes.