matzo

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Why That Gluten-Free Matzo May Not Be Kosher for Passover

Make sure to double-check that matzo box
matzo

shutterstock

Double-check your gluten-free matzo before performing a Seder.

Eating kosher during Passover is an important mitvah for Jewish people to follow during the holiday, and a major component of that is eating matzo, a flatbread made of unleavened grains (barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt). And though eating matzo is a major element for a Seder dinner, it isn’t possible for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Matzo contains wheat, rye, and barley, which contain gluten.

The solution for gluten-intolerant Jews, then, lies in gluten-free matzo. According to Tablet, gluten-free matzo is made from tapioca starch, potato starch, and potato flour. And, it’s a wonderful, flavorful solution for a very specific problem.

But look again on that gluten-free matzo box. It reads “not for sacramental purposes.” That’s because it is actually not kosher for Passover.

Because the gluten-free matzo does not contain one of the unleavened grains, it does not qualify as a mitvah, or a biblical commandment.

Luckily, it’s easy enough to bypass this. You can either just use the gluten-free matzo anyway (since there’s no sense in getting sick) or have someone else at your table break normal matzo to fulfill the mitzvah.