Friday, April 09, 2010

Where's the herring?

Shold have printed this a week ago

Dear Mr. Bear:

You have prior permission to reprint this on your blog.

Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite culinary memories of Pesach, aside from matzah brei made with peanut oil, was chopped herring on matzah. And in my adult years, since I moved to CA-city, I have always enjoyed the homemade chopped herring served up at the appetizing counter of our local Kosher-ama market, made under very reliable hasgacha. Unfortunately, I enjoy it no more, at least not over Pesach.

A couple of years ago, while doing my Peasach shopping, I stopped at the appetizing counter and asked for my usual, homemade whitefish salad and chopped herring. The whitefish salad they had, but the chopped herring, nada, shum davar, klum. I didn't get a real straight answer from the guy at the counter, but I got the impression that this was something forced on them by the mashgiach. Last year, they had chopped herring, but they must have modified the recipe somehow, becuase it was lousy. This year, no chopped herring. Now chopped herring contains little more than pickled herring, apples, maybe some sugar, and matzah meal. I don't know what would all of a sudden make it not suitable for Pesach. I have a sinking feeling that the kashrut agency that supervises the Kosher-ama has gone on the no-gebrokts bandwagon. When I look around the store, I see no prepared food and very few packaged items that contain gebrokts. They still sell matzah meal, matzah farfel, and even cake meal, but I fear the worst may happen in the coming years. Sure, I can always go over to the Safeway and get gebrokts stuff (not to mention Hebrew National hot dogs), although premade baked goods that are meade of actual wheat matzah meal are getting hard to find even there. What seems to be happening is that the fanatics are taking over and forcing the rest of us to follow their silly minhagim by default. But my main complain here is that the pleasure of my Yom Tov is diminished by the lack of chopped herring.

I want to know if other people in other cities are having this same problem. I mean, if I can't have chopped herring on Pesach, I might was well be celebrating Easter.

Yours, with affection


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