Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"Open, sesame!"* Or not. A Pesach question

I have a distinct recollection that one of the few candies that we ate during Pesach/Passover as children were sesame candies. It was probably only two or three years ago that I first learned that certain seeds are considered kitniyot.

So, did my parents, both Ashkenazim, not know that sesame seeds are considered kitniyot, did the Conservative Movement rule differently regarding their permissibility during Pesach (as they did regarding green beans), or is the permissibility of sesame seeds for Ashkenazi Jews during Pesach a matter of dispute even among the Orthodox?

*Open, sesame!"


Blogger Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

> So, did my parents, both Ashkenazim, not know that sesame seeds are considered kitniyot

That's the most likely. Sesame and peanuts tend to get missed because there's no good reason they should be kitniyos in the first place. They just are.

Tue Apr 03, 03:56:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...


I should also note my opinion that there's no good reason for kitniyot to be forbidden during Pesach for Ashkenazim in the first place. They just are. :)

Tue Apr 03, 06:42:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

I share the same vague recollection. A quick google search shows that Joya makes kosher l'pesach sesame candies. Joya is the same company that makes kosher l'pesach Jelly Rings using corn syrup. As we moved from ingredient based kashrut to trusting any hecksher to understanding the differences among hecksherim sesame candies were one of the casualties along the way.

Tue Apr 03, 10:59:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Miami Al said...

Because Sesame Seeds and Peanuts were not considered Kitniyot. Even the OU today does not consider Peanuts Kitniyot, they just won't give a hecksher out of deference to those that consider them Kitniyot.

OU Curious about Kitniyot

Kitniyot is a Minhag, you follow the Minhag of your fathers. If your parents ate sesame seeds during Pesach, there is no reason for you to consider them Kitniyot, even if other Jews do so.

Corn Syrup is another one, recently consider Kitniyot for market reasons. Kitniyot derivatives are not prohibited, that would be adding a Chumrah to a Minhag, which is not permitted. However, the supervisory organizations can choose who to give supervision to or not, and they have chosen to be stringent to protect their market.

Keep your family Minhag on Kitniyot.

Thu Apr 05, 11:49:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Larry, it's a pity that sesame candies were victims of the "hechsher wars."

Miami Al, my parents' custom for Pesach was not to eat peanuts or corn, which were added to the kitniyot list at a later stage, but they did eat sesame, a food with a longer tradition of being kitniyot. What a paradox. Go figure.

Thanks for the link. As a former rabbi of mine used to say, at least I'm now "confused on a higher level." :)

Minhag Av, the custom of my ancestor(s), it is. Now, if I could only find some sesame candy in one of the local kosher stores . . .

Thu Apr 05, 05:53:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Miami Al said...

I saw them at our local Super Market when I was there buying other stuff. I thought of your posting when I saw it.

If you are looking for "Pesach Candies" -- i.e. staples of American Passover, your best bet is a normal Super Market selling Passover foods to non-Observant Jews who buy the stuff in bulk.

That said, I didn't buy them.

Not because they're not Kasher L'Pesach, but because I don't particularly like them. :)

I only use Sesame Seeds in Asian cooking, because they are dietarily worthless and give little flavor (but add authenticity to certain dishes), so I haven't given it much thought for Pesach outside your post.

Chia Seeds, however, are delicious, dietarily beneficial, and fine for Pesach (cursory search to make sure no wheat slipped in).

Mon Apr 09, 01:40:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks for the tip, Miami Al. I'll check our nearest supermarket.

Sesame seeds are "dietarily worthless"? More's the pity. I really enjoy drowning my salad and/or falafel in techina. Sigh. :(

I haven't tried chia seeds yet, but I'd heard a lot about them recently, and intend to look for them at the local health food store or Whole Foods. They might be an interesting addition to our cooking.

Tue Apr 10, 10:11:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Miami Al said...

I made Chia encrusted fish and chicken over Yom Tov. They taste like Poppy Seeds.

For a background on seeds:

Sesame Seeds

Poppy Seeds

Chia Seeds

The nutrients from Sesame/Poppy are the ones you get readily in a crappy multi-vitamin, as well as in a balanced diet (heck, brown rice or enriched white rice will cover you with them). Also, Sesame/Poppy are low in Omega-3s, high in Omega-6s. While both are important, the "ideal" Omega 6:Omega 3 diet is 1:1, anything below 4:1 is supposed to be good. The typical American diet is between 20:1 and 400:1!

We noticed when we saw nutrition data on Sesame vs. Plain Bagels that the sesame seeds added a TON of calories.

We have chosen to use Chia Seeds, though looking into Flax Seeds which are another really healthy seed.

Tue Apr 10, 11:53:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Corrected link for chia seeds (I hope).

The chia seeds seem to be higher in Omega 3's and lower in minerals. Oh, well.

Tue Apr 10, 12:51:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Miami Al said...

If the rest of your diet provides the necessary minerals, then chia seeds are much better. If you are lacking the basic minerals, then chia seeds are inferior.

Tue Apr 10, 02:56:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"If the rest of your diet provides the necessary minerals . . . "

Working on it.

Tue Apr 10, 04:36:00 PM 2012  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>