Passover prep: All your eggs — and matzah — in one basket

Some ideas to get you ready for the upcoming holiday, from decorative platters and handwoven matzah holders to outdoor markets serving up homemade horseradish and other Seder items

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

The Shulchan Aruch food fair at the Port Shuk in Tel Aviv, April 13-14, 2022. (Courtesy: Shani Brill)
The Shulchan Aruch food fair at the Port Shuk in Tel Aviv, April 13-14, 2022. (Courtesy: Shani Brill)

There’s less than a week until Passover begins. That leaves a limited number of shopping days for items that can enhance the celebration of this spring holiday.

We’ve assembled a list of local events and products — all food-related, of course — that could embellish the upcoming eight days of Passover, ranging from the edible to the decorative, including ritual items that are symbolic of the festival.

Crunchy cardboard

Why not start with matzah, the crunchy flatbread that’s synonymous with Passover.

For many, store-bought boxes of matzah are more than sufficient, but some yearn and are willing to pay for shmura matzah — round, handmade matzah made from wheat carefully supervised throughout the processes of picking and grinding, packing, and transporting.

This year, Tzohar, an Israeli organization that aims to bridge gaps between Israel’s religious and secular society, is selling half-kilo boxes of shmura matzah. There are six to seven rounds in each NIS 95 ($30) box with an extra NIS 30 ($9) charged for home delivery, available through an online order form or for pickup at the Tzohar offices in Lod.

The organization is also offering the online ritual sale of one’s hametz, or non-kosher-for-Passover leavened food products, with forms available in Spanish, French, Russian, English, and Hebrew.

Hold it

Once the matzah is in the house, it’s helpful to have the right kind of holder to keep the fragile sheets intact.

A Kuchinate matzah basket woven by the African refugees who weave in the economic empowerment workshop, (Courtesy: Kuchinate)

Kuchinate, a Tel Aviv workshop staffed by African asylum-seeking women who crochet colorful baskets as part of an economic empowerment project, has expanded its basket repertoire to include square baskets for matzah.

There are also brightly colored African textiles fashioned into matzah covers and runners, as well as cloth-covered Kuchinate Haggadah booklets.

The gifts purchased from Kuchinate support African asylum seekers, contributing to their financial and personal freedom.

Got you covered

Uzbekistani designs and colors in Barbara Shaw’s Passover collection. (Courtesy: Barbara Shaw)

Jerusalem-based designer and gift shop Barbara Shaw focused on Uzbekistani designs and colors in her Passover collection this year, repurposing suzanis, embroidered decorative textiles traditionally made by Central Asian brides as part of their dowries.

Her Passover afikoman and matzah covers have words representing the stages of the Seder framing a fruit-filled pomegranate tree at the center.

Get cracking

Eggs are a key ingredient for many a Passover recipe. Culinary star and cookbook author Shaily Lipa teamed up with ceramicist Yaara Nir Kachlon to design and create a handmade egg plate, with shallow impressions to hold eggs — or chocolate-covered strawberries, if you’d prefer.

Culinary entrepreneur Shaily Lipa’s egg-centric Passover package, with an egg plate made by ceramicist Yaara Kachlon and other treats in the NIS 600 package. (Courtesy: Shaily Lipa)

The NIS 600 ($187) holiday egg package includes a matzah cover and Lipa’s Passover cookbook with 50 recipes.

The holiday package also includes a digital workshop hosted by Lipa — in Hebrew — demonstrating four recipes for filling the egg-shaped concavities on the cream-colored platter.

The egg platter is also available for purchase with Lipa’s four recipes for NIS 310 (as well as other combinations from the Passover package.)

The holiday package can be delivered free of charge within six days following orders made from Lipa’s Instagram account or from the Isracard gift website.

The great outdoors

The week before the Seder brings Shulchan Aruch, a culinary festival on April 13-14 at Tel Aviv’s Port market, where culinary creators and cooks will sell their versions of Passover favorites, providing inspiration for what to serve during the holiday.

The event, part of the usual roster of culinary and farmers’ markets held at the port, will feature a purveyor of fresh matzah balls, jars of homemade horseradish, an array of Passover-friendly chocolates and cookies, and kosher-for-Passover wines and liquors from the far reaches of the Negev Desert as well as liquors from Hollander Distillery in the Jerusalem hills.

If your fridge is empty in the days prior to Passover, take the family to the Tasting the World Jerusalem food festival on April 10-14, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. each night outside the Old City walls, serving a feast of leavened treats and a variety of cuisines from around the world from stands run by local restaurants and chefs.

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