The spring holiday of Passover has been observed for thousands of years, so it’s a damn old tradition. On the first two nights of Passover, families come together for a Seder dinner, where the story of Passover is recounted and a lot of wine is drunk. On every Seder table, there must be a Seder plate – full of foods intended to represent different parts of the Passover story. I think it’s time these traditional foods got hit with some 21st Century flair.
Traditional Seder Plate Item: Karpas “The Fresh Vegetable”
The fresh vegetables represent the beginning of spring and the flourishing of the Israelites during the first years in Egypt. Traditionally, this is parsley.
21st Century Seder Plate Item: Kale
If you haven’t hopped on the trendy kale train by now, I can only assume you’ve been living under a rock.
Traditional Seder Plate Item: Maror “The Bitter Herb”
Usually represented by horseradish, maror represents the bitterness of slavery. It’s eaten twice: first, alone so that we can properly appreciate the misery our people suffered; a second time with sweet charoset to symbolize the mixture of good and bad that is ~life.~
21st Century Seder Plate Item: Sriracha
There’s no doubt that Sriracha is the modern equivalent of horseradish. Although it might not be as bitter as it is supposed to represent, it’s equally as spicy so you get the picture. Make your own homemade version like this.
Traditional Seder Plate Item: Charoses
Traditionally, charoses is a mix of fruits (usually apples,) wine and nuts and represents the mortar that Israelite slaves used to construct buildings for Pharaoh.
21st Century Seder Plate Item: Acai Bowl
Most Jews can agree that charoses is the best part of a Seder Plate. It’s sweet and crunchy, and in my opinion the least painful to eat because it actually tastes like something you would eat any other time of the year. But if we’re putting a modern twist on traditional foods, I’d say an acai bowl is pretty close.
Traditional Seder Plate Item: The Roasted Shankbone
The lamb that the Jews sacrificed as the special Passover offering when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. It is also a symbol of the sacrifice that Israelites offered before leaving Egypt.
21st Century Seder Plate Item: Osso buco
Osso bucco is a traditional Italian dish made with veal shanks that have been braised in white wine (therefore kosher for Passover!). While I personally wouldn’t eat this, Osso buco’s popularity is definitely on the rise.
Traditional Seder Plate Item: Hard-Boiled Egg
This is another symbol of sacrifice. But the roundness of the egg also represents the cycle of life and that even in the most painful of times, there is hope for a new beginning.
21st Century Seder Plate Item: Fried Egg
Everything’s better when you #putaneggonit.
The foods on a Seder Plate aren’t the only foods associated with Passover. Here are a few others that could use a modern upgrade:
Traditional Passover Food: Matzah
The traditional story is that when the Jews were released from Egypt, they had to leave in such a hurry that they didn’t have time for their bread to rise. As a result, we have to eat this garbage food for 8 days.
21st Century Food: Gluten-free bread
They both taste like cardboard so it’s not much of a difference, right?
Traditional Passover Food: Gefilte Fish
Gefilte fish was created to obey the laws of the Sabbath that say that no bones can be broken or removed. I complacently ate gefilte fish when I was younger, but as I’ve grown up I’ve come to realize just how gross these “fish meatballs” really are.
21st Century Food: Sushi
Luckily for those wishing to observe the laws of the Sabbath, I have yet to come across any form of sushi that includes bones. If you’re a sushi newbie, check this article out.
Traditional Passover Drink: Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine
A typical Seder table will have four cups of wine. These cups represent four terms G-d used to describe redemption. These terms are: “I shall take you out [of Egypt]…” “I shall rescue you…” “I shall redeem you…” and “I shall bring you…”
FYI, the four cups of wine are the only thing that make matzo bearable.
21st Century Drink: White Girl Rosé from The Fat Jew
Who wouldn’t want to drink wine from The Fat Jew himself? L’chaim!