Holidays, Food Allergies

I received this email from a friend. She’s doing a Master’s degree in rural Virgina and hosting a Passover at her house.

“I have two friends coming to seder who are gluten-intolerant. Keeping in mind that this is only a week away and that I live in the middle of nowhere Virginia, what do you suggest I do about matzoh? and matzoh ball soup? Just have them skip those parts? Or is there an easy solution?”

I did a quick search online (also through Gluten-Free Bay) and it seems the GF Kosher sites have stopped shipping as of last week (I’m sure they have to clean out before Passover).

Here was my reply:

Ask your guests what they'd like instead. Salad? Different soup? Or just consomme?

Beware: if your matzoh ball soup is a commercial chicken broth that may have wheat in it, too.

Gluten-free rice crackers is what I use and they are available at health food stores or online. Edwards & Sons is what I like but there are GF Asian varieties too.

Whatever you make or buy, keep labels so they can read them if they want to determine their level of comfort.


How do you handle the holidays as a host of an allergic or food intolerant guest? Or if you’re the allergic or food intolerant one hosting, do you serve anything that you can’t eat?


~M said…
I'm hosting and cooking. Around the year (ie, not Pesach), I make the entire meal gluten-free, whether it be Shabbat or Thanksgiving.

For Pesach, I offer matza to others (keeping separate containers of horseradish and charoset so they don't get cross-contaminated by gluten) and have someone else make matzo balls (making sure the soup uses a different spoon). Everything else is safe, unless I allow someone else to prepare gefilte fish. Instead of matza, I use romaine lettuce for my Hillel sandwiches. :) Boston Bibb would work well too. And instead of matzo balls, I make quinoa balls (my version contains almond meal).

Perhaps this host/ess, should recommend that her guest bring a dish if she feels nervous about the lack of options?

In general, between a vegetarian and several picky eaters, I try to have a variety of dishes with the hope that everyone will find something to nosh on and not leave hungry.
Allergic Girl® said…
lovely ideas, m. thank you and happy passover!
~M said…
You too, AG. Chag sameach to you and your readers. :)
Journeywoman said…
Fortunately I'm not allergic to gluten, but I have a host of others. (nuts, seafood, tomatoes.)

I've hosted people with GF needs at my seder and keep separate things for them.

Also I would never cook or serve anything I was allergic to.

Happy Passover all.
Unknown said…
I am not Jewish, but am attending a passover themed potluck, and want all of our food to be kosher for passover as well as vegan and gluten free.

I found a couple of recipes for gluten free matzoh that fit the bill (one uses gf oat flour, potato starch, and almond meal. The other uses potato starch, almond meal, and flax seed.

I found a number of recipes for matzoh ball soup that were gluten free, but all used either eggs or egg replacer, and I didn't feel like fooling around with substitutes. So I decided instead on some gluten free gnocci.

The other foods I have decided on are charoset and honey roasted root vegetables. There were some other good-looking recipes round too.

The only thing I need is dessert . . .
Unknown said…
Someone say dessert?..

Until there was a mainstream market soy-free chocolate source (YAY, Enjoy Life!), I used to hoard Passover chocolates every year... Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews do not consider soybeans to be kosher for Passover, so the emulsifier tends to be cocoa butter or palm, unless it's a Tsefardic (Israeli) product.

Easy dessert... Melt down some Passover chocolate in the microwave, mix in crumpled up safe matzah (I can eat spelt, and I know oat is out there, too). I add golden raisins, too. Make individual candy blobs on wax paper and stick in the fridge to harden.

This is fairly traditional (I have family that make the wheat & soy version), and it's addictive stuff.

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