In an age where celebrity chefs are rolling out an ever-increasing display of fusion and modern cuisine, there’s something to be said about enjoying some good old-fashioned tradition.
When it comes to traditional family meals, there are few that can rival the Passover Seder. Seder, which translates to “order,” is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover, a celebration commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
The Seder, a grand family gathering, which often includes multiple generations as well as extended family and close friends, commences around a table decorated with the finest table and silverware.
During the dinner, families tell the story of the Jews Exodus from Egypt, discuss the meaning of the story, drink wine, eat matzo and observe other symbolic traditions.
Shopping for Your Seder Meal
When creating a Seder meal for your family and friends, Farmers Market merchants are here to help.
No Seder meal is complete without a great Chicken Matzo Ball Soup and a great chicken soup requires a great chicken. A perfect choice is Mary’s Air-Chilled, Free Range Chicken, which is available at Marconda's Puritan Poultry.
Mary’s Chickens, raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley, are unique because they are cooled using an “Air Chill” system—most poultry farms chill their birds by immersing them in cold water. Air chilling birds provides a number of important benefits, including water conservation. Mary’s Chickens saves more than 30,000 gallons of water every year.
Most importantly, however, not saturating birds in water means you’ll enjoy a better-tasting, more flavorful chicken, and subsequently, a better chicken matzo ball soup.
Or as one Farmers Market patron told us, “My chicken matzo ball soup is even better than my grandmother’s, all due to the great chicken.”
Organic chicken can also be found at Farmers Market Poultry. Hard boiled eggs are also a must-have item on the Seder plate, so be sure to pick up some fresh eggs at either Farmers Market Poultry or Puritan Poultry.
Both of our butchers, Huntington Meats and Marconda’s Meats also offer a great selection of roasts, and butchers at both grocers can help you select the perfect flank bone for your Seder plate. California produce, including fresh-from-the-farm parsley, is available at Farm Boy Produce, Farm Fresh Produce and Greenhouse Produce.
One part of the Seder ritual is the eating of bitter herbs (maror in Hebrew), in order to “bring tears to the eyes,” a step designed to remind participants of the great affliction endured by the Jews. At most meals, horseradish is used to represent the maror, and we just can’t think of a better horseradish in the world, than the homemade offering sold at Magee’s Kitchen. They’ve been using the same recipe for decades, and it continues to be a crowd favorite.
A sweet end to the Seder meal is the passing of macaroons. These coconut kisses are available at T&Y Bakery, which sells some of the best we’ve ever tasted.