Does Kosher for Passover food have to suck?

So, does Kosher for Passover food have to suck? Well, Pennie Ungar-Sargon’s radical claim is that it not only does not have to suck—but it can actually be delicious. Yes, I know, you must think I’m high. Could be, but that is not the point. Ungar-Sargon has created a cookbook for Pesach which makes the audacious claim that you will want to use these recipes year round. I have eaten Pennie’s food, so I take this claim very seriously. Pennie is an accomplished cook and she is putting together a book (together with her partner Eli, who does the photography) which will be a delight for the eyes in addition to the gastronomic senses.

What does this mean in the larger sense? Cooking has been seriously impacted (and to my mind improved) by the influx of people who did not grow up observant or even chose Judaism later in life. The vegetarian/vegan revolution in Jewish cooking came in their wake. Molly Katzen’s cookbooks attained scripture status among a certain portion of the observant community, who embraced the fact that the vegetarian recipes needed no tinkering to be “koshered.” At the same time, rising Orthodox affluence (the “fruppie” or frum yuppie phenomenon) gave rise to an appetite for actually good wines and haute cuisine which was also actually kosher. 

Pennie Ungar-Sargon’s project comes at the confluence of these streams. A talented cook who has decided to venture into the great wasteland of Kosher for Pesach food. No longer must all vegetarian or vegan recipe have some version of the same six ingredients. No longer must we say, “Well its Pesach good.”

So if this is all interesting and mouth watering, you can help it come to life. Ungar-Sargon has a Kickstarter campaign to help bring the book to publication. Click here and kick in some shekels if you can. 

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