Memories at the market

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Passover supplement

Memories at the market

To stop you wondering how your local kosher shop owner spent Passover as a kid, Louisa Walters asked the question

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

Rivkah Schtraks, BKosher Golders Green

“My parents originally came from Constantine, Algeria, but I grew up in a little village in France called Rebais near a Sephardi yeshiva. Every Passover, after we had cleared the house of chametz, my father would grill a large shoulder of lamb on the barbecue for us to eat. At the seder table, we had a huge copper seder plate – huge!

This had been passed down from generation to generation. Every time the words ‘matzah’ or ‘chametz’ or ‘pesach’ was said at the seder, we had to lift the plate high above our heads.

Now I am following Chabad minhagim in my husband’s family tradition (his father was from the Ukraine) and we only eat fresh meat, vegetables and fruit at Pesach.”

Daniel at Jerusalem Malawach
Daniel at Jerusalem Malawach

Daniel Elimelech, Jerusalem Malawach

“When we were kids, my father used to hide not one afikoman, but five, so all the kids would find one! Every child was convinced that the one he/she found was the ‘real’ one.

Now I’m the adult hiding the afikoman, but I only hide one! I love eating chocolate spread on wet matzah at Passover – everyone should try it – and for breakfast, instead of scrambled eggs on toast with salmon, I dip matzah in eggs and make a matzah omelette.”

Joseph Cohen, BKosher Edgware

Passover-FeastMa Nishtana took well over an hour until all the kids had finished.

“We used to have all our cousins over for the first seder night. There were around  70 people squashed across five tables in my parents’ living room.

The seder tended to end around 3am – sometimes as late as 4am! I have fond memories of a sparkling home, a beautifully set table with lots of silverware and my mother’s most delicious food.

She used recipes from Aleppo, where our family originates.

They included mechsi (stuffed onions and courgettes) and kibeh la metsia (mince stuffed into a crispy textured crumble).  We also used to drink mate, an Argentinian green tea, after the meal was over.”

Joshua at Tapuach
Joshua at Tapuach

Joshua Lenes, Tapuach 

“I grew up in Jerusalem as the third youngest of 10 children. At the start of the seder, we would all sit very quietly waiting for ‘the speech’. My father would then explain to us the whole story of Passover and the service and we all sat really quietly and listened. He was so good at explaining, and this way, when the seder began, we understood everything that was going on and were able to follow the service. Now I have four children of my own so it’s my duty to explain the seder to them.”

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