Stock Your Passover Pantry

Eating our way through the holidays is common: Big meal, traditional foods, ritual blessings, lots of desserts. (I was going to say too much dessert, but is that really a thing?). Passover, however, is an entirely different animal, of course, due to the whole no bread thing.

Keeping Kosher for Passover means different things to different people, (and who are we to judge?), and people do Passover in all manners. Some clean their home from top to bottom, while others escape to full-service hotels where you don’t have to worry about the ritual cleaning. If you are like most people and are staying at home, you’re going to need to shop.

Here’s the thing about keeping Kosher generally: it’s expensive. Buying Kosher for Passover: REALLY expensive. In our house, we don’t go out and buy everything Kosher for Passover; salad dressing, ketchup, pop (or soda, if you’re an East Coaster), etc. It’s not that I don’t understand why people do it; it’s just a step or two (or three) beyond where I want my Judaism to be.

That said, I’m still not eating forbidden foods for the week, which required shopping. Because of what we choose to not replace, we don’t require to take out a loan. But being in not the largest Jewish community around, finding stores isn’t easy.

(Obligatory disclaimer: None of what follows is an endorsement. This is purely based on my observations. Take these thoughts with as many grains of salt as you need.)

Here’s what I’ve found: On the west side, the closer you are to St. Louis Park, the bigger selection you’re going to have. With that in mind, Cub at Knollwood has had, traditionally at least – the biggest selection.

Lunds & Byerly’s in St. Louis Park has upped its game considerably and also has a well-stocked KFP section. Happily, it’s also in the front of the store so you can easily get what you’re looking for and move on.

The Kosher Spot is, to my knowledge, the only all-Kosher shop in the area. So, obviously, they are good shopping alternative if local is important.

On the East Side, my one shopping experience was at Cooper’s Foods near the St. Paul JCC and it was a successful one. Lots of KFP choices, including more gluten-free choices than I’ve seen before – if that’s your thing.

No matter where you go, the one thing you can’t really do is bargain shop for Passover. That’s the major downside of the holiday. Or Kosher, in general.

Got any places that we missed? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

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About Lonny Goldsmith

Lonny Goldsmith is the editor of TC Jewfolk and Director of Communications for Jewfolk Media. He's an award-winning journalist who is involved in his third Jewish community after growing up in Michigan and spending a three-year stint in Chicago. He likes to write, cook and drink really good beer. He can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @lonny_goldsmith

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