Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's Different This Passover? No Margarine - WSJ.com

re: from April 18, 2008, by Ann Zimmerman, "...A shortage of special kosher-for-Passover margarine is causing dismay in Jewish households across the nation as family cooks discover they can't make many of their traditional Passover meals without it. /Particularly irksome is the absence of kosher-for-Passover stick margarine, an essential ingredient in baking for the weeklong holiday starting at sundown Saturday. / ...[snip]... / Some stores in the New York area have been rationing kosher-for-Passover margarine, letting customers buy only a single package. Others are using it as a marketing tool, selling only to those who agree to buy a certain amount of other items too. / ...[snip].../ Margarine is crucial to kosher cooking because the dietary rules don't allow mixing meat and milk products, such as butter, at a meal. Margarine, made of vegetable oil, can be eaten with either meat or milk, and it can be kosher if rabbis oversee production to be sure no dairy products touch the machinery. /That's not good enough for Passover, though. Stricter kosher rules for the holiday forbid corn and legumes such as soy. So Passover margarine is made only from cottonseed oil or palm oil./But it's a once-a-year product, and a hassle to make. Machinery needs to be broken down and cleaned before the margarine is made, to prevent contamination with non-kosher food. /Further discouraging production is a shortage of cottonseed oil that has driven its price way up. Some U.S. farmers deserted cotton to plant corn last year when ethanol production sent corn's price higher, industry officials say..."...

hat tip: The Shining City

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