Arguably, the best part of the Seder is when we get to eat “charoset” — a sweet, chunky paste made from various fruits (e.g. apples, cinnamon, dates) and nuts. This is meant to resemble the mortar used by the Jews to build while enslaved in Egypt. Each family has their own distinct recipe for charoset. In Gibraltar, however, they add a little extra spice — brick dust!
“It is indeed true, and although much joking and mirth ensues about who gets the bit of brick stuck in their tooth, it is like many things a figurative custom, and a bit of dust from a brick is put into the charoset,” says Isaac Hassan. “My mother, who has been making charoset for longer than I can remember has had the same brick for over 30 years, and it is practically the same size.”
Another custom is for the person leading the Seder to walk around the table with the Seder plate 3 times when reciting the phrase “we left Egypt in a hurry.”
“We will tap it on the head of each person,’’ explained Isaac Hassan. “The funny bit is how people react to the plate being banged on their head. Kids love it and visitors are amazed.”