The 7 Symbolic Foods Of Passover

Passover may be the Jewish holiday of freedom, commemorating the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Each spring, Jewish people from around the globe recount Passover’s watershed story of redemption in a festive meal known as the Seder.

The centerpiece of the highly symbolic meal may be the Seder plate. Around the Seder plate you will find 5 or 6 different Passover foods, each symbolizing a distinctive aspect of the Exodus story. At various points within the Seder (meaning ‘order’ in Hebrew), participants take part in these different foods to tangibly and gastronomically reenact the occasions from the Exodus.

In Israel, one Seder is commemorated around the first nights Passover (known as Pesach in Hebrew). All of those other Jewish world celebrates two Seders on the foremost and second nights of Passover.

As the primary course in the Passover Seder differs from family to family and nation to nation, the 5 or 6 aspects of the Seder plate are universal. Here’s phone meaning, background and culinary expression these seven Passover foods.


Also typed matzoh and matza, matzah may be the unleavened bread eaten (rather of bagels, sandwich bread and pita) during Passover. Regardless of how you spell it, matzah may be the essential Passover food.

Once the Israelites found that the pharaoh had decided to allow them to leave Egypt, they didn’t have enough time to bake bread for his or her journey. Lest Pharaoh change his mind (that they did), they rapidly made unleavened dough and baked it lying on their backs under the sun. Also known as the Bread of Affliction, (Lechem Oni in Hebrew), matzah symbolizes the difficulty of slavery and also the Jewish people’s rash transition to freedom.

Throughout the Seder meal, a plate with a minimum of three covered matzahs is placed near the Seder plate. The matzah is partaken from ritually three separate occasions throughout the Seder. The very first time, the matzah is eaten alone next it’s eaten along with maror (bitter herbs – see below) and lastly with maror and haroset (also see below) inside a “korech” sandwich.

Additionally to enjoying matzah in the Seder meal, Jewish people eat this unleavened bread through the 8-day holiday. Typically, Jews are prohibited from eating any leavened product (including pasta, cereal, wheat crackers and (obviously) bread) throughout the week of Passover. Rather, they like sandwiches made on matzah and cakes baked from matzah meal.

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While make your own matzah aware of special Passover flour and water, most buy their matzah in the supermarket. Making matzah requires exact precision. To become considered “kosher” for Passover, matzah should be produced in 18 minutes or fewer (from mixing to kneading to baking).


Karpas is among the six Passover foods around the Seder plate. It’s a eco-friendly leafy vegetable, usually parsley, accustomed to symbolize the first flourishing from the Israelites in Egypt. Based on the Book of Genesis, Frederick and the family moved in the scriptural land of Ca’anan lower to Egypt throughout a drought. Once in Egypt, Frederick rapidly rose to power because the Egyptian pharaoh’s second-in-command — a revered position that extended special protection towards the Israelite people for many generations.

However, whenever a new pharaoh found power, he was threatened through the growing size the Israelite community and enslaved them. This turn of occasions is commemorated throughout the Seder by dipping the karpas into bitter brine, addressing the tears shed through the Israelites.

Karpas also symbolizes springtime – that is appropriate since Passover is known as Hag Ha’Aviv or even the holiday of spring. While parsley foliage is the most typical food accustomed to represent the karpas, some families use celery or steamed spring taters.


Maror, or bitter herbs, is yet another among the Passover foods around the Seder plate also it symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. Different families use different foods to represent the maror, but it’s most typically horseradish or romaine lettuce. Such as the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt, romaine lettuce is nice initially, but becomes increasingly more bitter in the future.


A paste-like combination of fruits, nuts and sweet wine or honey, charoset (also typed haroset) is synonymous with the mortar utilized by the Israelite slaves once they laid bricks for Pharaoh’s monuments. The term charoset comes from the Hebrew word for clay, cheres.

Jews from Eastern European descent (known as Ashkenazi) make their charoset from apples, walnuts, sweet dark wine along with a generous dash of cinnamon. Families from Sephardic descent use dates, figs, almonds and honey to create charoset.

Throughout the Seder, a sandwich is eaten from matzah, charoset and maror. Referred to as “korech”, this ritual sandwich embodies the Israelites’ bitterness over their hard labor (masonry) and also the spiritual affliction they endured from being enslaved.

Shank Bone

The shank bone, or z’roa in Hebrew, represents the Paschal sacrifice provided by the Israelites around the eve of the exodus from Egypt. During the Holy Temple in ancient Israel, this Paschal sacrifice was reenacted around the mid-day before Passover. Today there’s no Holy Temple, therefore the shank bone around the Seder plate has had its symbolic place.

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While a roasted lamb bone is typically accustomed to represent the z’roa, a piece of content of roasted meat can be utilized. Some families used chicken or poultry neck, that they roast completely within the oven after which char over a wide open flame on their own stoves. Unlike another foods around the Seder plate, the shank bone isn’t eaten. Rather, it continues to be a visible indication of individuals monumental moments before the Exodus.

Some vegetarian families substitute a roasted beet for that shank bone, alluding to some passage within the Talmud (the selection of Jewish Law), which refers back to the bloodstream red beet among the vegetables initially partaken of within the first Seder.


Such as the z’roa, the egg (beitzah, in Hebrew) stands set for a vacation sacrifice once offered by the Holy Temple. The egg is another universal indication of springtime, new beginnings and rebirth — all styles which are echoed within the story from the Exodus.

The egg isn’t eaten throughout the ritual area of the Seder however, many families preempt their primary course by having an appetizer of chopped, hardboiled eggs, that they serve with brine. This primary course reminds individuals who eat it that, even while they attempt new journeys, they have to recall the hardships that introduced them there.


Much like maror, chazeret is yet another bitter food and it is usually lettuce or perhaps a root vegetable. The sixth symbolic Passover food around the Seder plate, chazeret sits dormant by all families. Some choose to combine use horseradish for the chazeret and also the maror. Chazeret is much more generally incorporated on Seder plates in Israel, where romaine lettuce typically means the chazeret and horseradish for that maror.

The Passover Seder is really a highly symbolic and physical experience. The meals which are eaten during Passover function as tangible reminders from the difficulty of slavery and also the exaltation of Exodus. From matzah and maror to charoset and chazeret, Passover foods reconnect Seder participants with historic occasions that happened a long time ago.

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