Some Passover foods you look forward to and others you dread, even though it wouldn’t be Passover without them. Prepare your tastebuds and maybe brush up on your Hebrew before this year’s Seder.

17. Gefilte Fish


photo courtesy of Manischewitz

Whether fresh or from a jar, gefilte fish is not for everyone. It looks a little like a matzo ball but instead of ground matzo it’s made with ground fish, usually whitefish or carp, mixed with egg and matzo meal then boiled and served cold. The logs are often topped with a slice of carrot and come coated in a gelatinous goo formed by the collagen extracted from fish bones in the stock you boil the fish in. This acquired taste is definitely at the bottom of the list.

16. Passover versions of foods you can’t eat during passover


photo by Sarah Strong

You can go eight days without whatever it is you’re craving, especially because the Passover version is likely to be not only not as good as the regular version but also almost inedible. I’ve made Passover popovers and a blue velvet matzo cake, both of which were some of the worst things I’ve ever eaten. It’s just not worth it.

15. Anything you eat off of the Seder plate


photo by Katya Simkhovich

Besides the charoset, there isn’t anything I could imagine wanting to eat off of a Seder plate. The egg and shank bone are symbolic but the maror and karpas are consumed during the course of the Seder. We don’t drink salt water for a reason; dipping parsley in it doesn’t make it any more palatable. And sure you can mix horseradish and charoset on matzo if that’s your thing, but I prefer it when my food doesn’t make me cry.

14. Tzimmes


photo courtesy of Elana’s Pantry

Orange vegetables can be polarizing, but when cooked down with sweeteners like honey, orange juice and dried fruits they can taste almost like candy. Except it’s not candy it’s just mushy carrots and prunes.

13. Candy you used to sell at Hebrew School


photo courtesy of Tim Sackton

Fruit slices, ring jellies and chocolate shaped matzos were always a hit with my grandma, but my favorite were the chocolate covered marshmallows. Calling all my relatives and describing chocolate from a catalog was almost as interesting as describing wrapping paper from a catalog. I also once heard a rumor that the candies weren’t actually kosher for Passover…

12. Matzo


photo by Liz Unger

When my non-Jewish friends ask me what matzo is I tell them it’s the stuff they put out in the dining halls during Passover. When they tell me it’s good I say yeah, that’s because you don’t have to eat it for eight days straight! Do yourself a favor and pick up some egg matzo or a box of the onion flavored variety. Keep Passover interesting this year with one of these 8 ways to eat matzoh.

11. Matzo lasagna/stuffing


photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Matzo lasagnes and stuffings are a great way to use matzo as a bread or pasta substitute that actually tastes good. Combine crushed matzo with your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing ingredients or layer it with something akin to spinach and artichoke dip for a vegetarian main that meat eaters will love.

10. Matzoh Pizza


photo courtesy of Lucas Richarz

Similar to matzo lasagna but way more fun. Having a matzo pizza party with your friends is a great Passover activity (and way to keep you away from non-parve foods in the dining hall), but maybe try to keep the toppings kosher, too!

9. Macaroons


photo by Amanda Shulman

Although French macarons are also often kosher for Passover, macaroons shine on this holiday. Even someone who hates coconut as much as I do can’t help but be tempted by the golden cookies, especially when they’re dipped in chocolate. Make your own this year to impress your friends and family.

8. Matzo Brei


photo courtesy of Meal Makeover Moms

Matzo brei is as simple as matzo, water, eggs and salt. If you’ve never had it you’re missing out on one of my favorite childhood breakfasts and should go make some right now, just be sure to keep the salt nearby when you sit down to eat.

7. Manischewitz


photo courtesy of Manischewitz Wine

Passover is all about those four cups of wine the Haggadah tells us to drink, so you probably grew up at least knowing what Manischewitz tasted like, even if you just used it to dip your finger in while reciting the plagues. This beverage is so sweet you might have even thought it was juice until your parents cut you off after your second glass!

6. Afikoman


photo courtesy of Ohad

Every kid knows the afikoman tastes better than the rest of the matzo, especially if you’re the one who found it!

5. Brisket


photo by Joe Utsler

Everyone’s mother or grandmother makes the best brisket and you can’t have a seder without it. Hoard the leftovers for the rest of the week or snack on it cold, not much is better.

4. Flourless Chocolate Cake


photo by Justin Shannin

Possibly the only successful adaptation of a cake for Passover, flourless chocolate cake is good throughout the whole year. But beware, some versions have been known to keep you up all night after eating it.

3. Charoset


photo by Mackenzie Barth

The best food we’re told in the Haggadah to eat, charoset is usually made with apples, nuts, wine and dried fruit. Some versions ditch the apples and use only on dried fruits and nuts. Make charoset your contribution to this year’s seder with this ultimate recipe.

2. Matzo crunch/crack/bark/toffee


photo by Nina Lincoff

Whatever you call it, there’s no arguing that matzo covered in caramel and chocolate is delicious and addictive. You can experiment with different types of chocolate and toppings like nuts or candy to make this dessert even more fun.

1. Matzo Ball Soup


photo courtesy of Selena N. B. H.

Although you never need an excuse to eat matzo ball soup, it’s pretty much required that you eat it every day during Passover. Probably the best thing you can make with matzo, the cure to any illness and the first thing you get to dig into during the Seder, matzo balls can do no wrong and that’s why they are Passover’s ultimate food.