Leah Harrison is a reporter and copy editor for the Atlanta Jewish Times.
Photo by Leah R. Harrison
Welcome to macaroon mecca, aka the Kroger kosher-for-Passover section.
A trip to the Toco Hills Kroger shows that no moss grows under the feet of kosher-for-Passover food manufacturers. The teeming holiday section reveals specialization, health-consciousness, variety and innovation in a milieu that used to be stodgy, unhealthy and not particularly appetizing.
The selection of kosher-for-Passover wines continues to increase in volume and quality. More options than ever are available, including bubbly varietals Moscato and Prosecco. From Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet and Chardonnay to Merlot, the venerable Mogen David is no longer your only choice for the required four cups of reclining drinking.
An overwhelming trend is the preponderance of gluten-free items.
Sticking out on the first end cap as you approach the impressive holiday section is a display five shelves high of gluten-free items, including original, fiber, cracked pepper, salt and pepper, onion and pepper, garlic and rosemary, and Shehakol matzah. There are three kinds of gluten-free cake mixes and four types of crackers. Options also abound for gluten-free matzah and cake meals, as well as soup mixes.
More gluten-free items are scattered throughout the Passover section.
The option of tapioca starch instead of potato is not new, but now you can pick white almond or coconut flour over matzah cake meal. It all depends on the application.
The recently groundbreaking Foodman’s Matzolah, invented in Atlanta, has a new challenger in Manischewitz matzah granola.
From organic whole wheat to spelt, and the classic thin tea to egg, Kroger offers 10 types of matzah from five manufacturers, packaged singly and in multipacks.
And have you seen the choice in macaroons? It’s no longer just almond or even rocky road. Now you can choose from cappuccino chip, carrot cake, sugar-free coconut, hazelnut chocolate, mint chocolate and pistachio orange.
The plethora of Passover options does present one problem: With all these choices, and with the bread of affliction now seeming less so, what do we have left to complain about?