Celebrate the First Shabbat After Passover with a Shlissel Challah
Hasidic communities mark the first Shabbat after Passover with a special challah as they transition back to the world of chametz. They shape the first post-Passover Shabbat challah into a key. The key, or shlissel as it is called in Yiddish, is meant to symbolize openings, passageways, and transition. Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro of Kovitz (b.Read more ›
What’s a Key (shlissel) Challah?
On the first Shabbat following Passover, after a week deprived of yeasty breads, hassidic custom serves up not just any challah, but a shlissel or key challah. About seven weeks or fifty days later at Shavuot, challot boast ladders and other symbols signifying ascension to heaven. This key shaped bread or bread embedded with anRead more ›
Anschluss Launches Bartons Passover Favorites 77 Years Ago
Bartons Chocolate Pops. Bartons Almond Kisses. Do you long for these and other iconic Passover favorites made by Bartons Chocolate? They exist because of the March 12, 1938 Nazi accession of Austria (Anschluss) when Stephen Klein fled Vienna for his life. A Nazi competitor had seized Klein’s chocolate company. He hurriedly left his two childrenRead more ›
Think Chocolate in Preparation for Passover’s Discussions and Eating
Several publications picked up my pieces about chocolate and Passover recently — Huffington Post, Jewish Journal and Jewish Telegraphic Agency — and I share them here, along with A Haggadah for a Socially Responsible Chocolate Seder and related rabbinic texts from responsa literature: A Haggadah for a Socially Responsible Chocolate Seder (free download!) This HaggadahRead more ›
Louis Kwechansky and his Chocolate Factory: A Father’s Day Tribute from Alex Kwechansky
In 1939, well before I was born, my father, Louis Kwechansky was already into chocolate production in Montreal. He had patented a machine to make a product that would seal his fame. He invented a chocolate lollypop on a stick, called a “Chocolate Pop.” He hired the best known intellectual property firm in town toRead more ›
Four Questions to Prep Chocolate for Passover
I hope that you enjoy this version of the traditional four questions at Passover. 1. How might I use chocolate to create new approaches to my Seder? You may wish to experience the ancient Seder and Passover themes through chocolate and related issues of child slavery, economic justice and fair trade. A Haggadah for aRead more ›
What Makes This Chocolate Different From All Other Chocolate?
Kosher L’Pesach certification does nothing to improve the quality of the chocolate for the festival celebration and actually limits choices, increases costs, diminishes taste and undermines the powerful messages of the Chag. While Passover themed chocolate in the shape of matzah or the Seder plate or other Jewish symbols may enhance the décor of theRead more ›
Finding your bashert through chocolate matzah! It’s a family deal for Charles Chocolate
Mark and I met Charles (Chuck) Siegel, one of the sweetest guys in the sweet business of chocolate, at the New York Chocolate Show in 2007. We then visited his store and factory in December, 2007, when he not only showed us around his expansive kitchens then in Emeryville but also generously loaded us upRead more ›