We are fortunate that while Passover commemorates events of a very ancient era, we live in extremely modern times. As we rush around shopping and cooking for the holiday this year, we don’t even need to turn on our laptops, let alone crack open a book in search of guidance and resources — thanks to a number of smart phone apps made for the holiday.
Pesach food shopping is made easy by two apps that allow you to check the kosher and kosher for Passover status of items as you come across them on the store shelves. The Orthodox Union has its OU Kosher App for iPhone and Android, which allows you to search for more than 600,000 products made around the world. The app provides up-to-date kosher alerts and new product updates, and it even enables you to call or text the OU Kosher information hotline with specific questions or concerns.
“What’s kosher and what isn’t during Passover becomes so much more complicated because certain kinds of products that are fine during the year are not fine to eat during that eight-day period,” Gary Madger, the OU’s Digital Media Director told the Huffington Post.
Among the new and exciting kosher for Passover delicacies that can be found on the app are: Mikee Mango Duck Sauce (Exotic Sauce Packaging, Inc); Chocolate Frogs and Chocolate Locusts (Zelda’s Sweet Shoppe); Coconut Macaroon Pie Shell (Manischewitz); Red Velvet Cake (Manischewitz); Matzah Dipped in Mint Dark Chocolate (Osem USA); Sweet Goodies Licorice (Kedem Food Products); and Tishbi Strawberry Champagne Preserve (Fruit of the Land).
Competing with the OU’s app is cRc Kosher 1.1,. In addition to the general kashrut information, from the Chicago Rabbinical Council, it provides about details about kosher products, fruits and vegetables, it also lists 80 kosher agencies recommended by the CRC to people traveling around the country or abroad. The Passover portion gives the newest information on food for humans and pets, as well as on medications and beauty items.
Once you’ve made your many Passover shopping trips and have lugged all those groceries home, it will be time to start cooking and baking. If you keep your smart phone within arm’s reach (though not within spattering distance), you’ll have some excellent Passover recipes literally at your fingertips.
There’s the 99-cent “Passover Food Street” app, but you can also look for some good recipes on the free Epicurious, BigOven and AllRecipes.com apps. According to the New York Times, all three offer recipes “for traditional foods in a format that’s useful for glance-and-mix cooks.”
The Time’s Bob Tedeschi recommended Epicurious’s Passover Lemon Cheesecake and Passover Honey Nut Cake in Soaking Syrup. He was less confident about reader-posted recipes on BigOven, writing that “Unbelievable Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies and ‘I Can’t Believe This Is a Passover Cake’ Yellow Cake, also appeared, among other credulity-straining possibilities.”
If your favorite food stores have free apps, it might be worth checking them out, as well. While they may not have a special kosher for Passover recipe section, you can find some appropriate recipes by typing in key words and/or ingredients like “matzah” or “matzah meal.”
Finally, the Jewish Theological Semiary’s Rabbi David Kraemer and Melcher Media has developed a new Haggadah app.. The app offer up some modern Seder recipes like Smoked Trout and Beet Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette.