Passover desserts are made dense, rich and very tasty. Not only are these unique foods unleavened and dairy-free, but also through the centuries, creative bakers have evolved a basket-load of goodies that are as scrumptious as they are unique. Unfortunately, many kosher restaurants and delis like Vitali’s and Prime Deli in St Louis Park close for Passover because of the difficulty in conforming kitchens and delis to strict kosher rules. Lunds and Byerly’s maintain a kosher bakery. Other delis and bakeries remain open offering their same delicious fare, but do not conform to the strictest of rules for Passover. In these cases, the best alternative is prepackaged foods prepared in kosher kitchens elsewhere. Check out these five Minnesota sources of cuisine for your Passover meal.
Byerly’s St. Louis Park
3777 Park Center Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
“Our St. Louis Park Kosher Bakery is certified kosher pareve and is also certified kosher for Passover,” says Susan Stillman, Lunds and Byerly’s Bakery Specialist. “Our team of bakers make these items from scratch and they do a wonderful job.” Susan says the most popular items are popovers, coconut macaroons, and sponge cake. You can also find blueberry muffins, chocolate chip cookies and other favorites. Lunds and Byerly’s stores throughout Minnesota order a limited menu from this kosher bakery, so it is wise to call ahead and find out what is offered at your particular location. Look for these extraordinary desserts about a week before Passover.
3620 Texas Avenue South
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
“Our selection here is huge,” says Cub Grocery Manager Scott Dulac. “It rivals any other store in the Twin Cities market. Plus, we are fully stocked throughout all of Passover.” Look for the bakery racks filled with hamantaschen, cakes, cookies and other treats located in the Kosher Aisles. All of the goods are from other bakeries because Cub Foods does not have a kosher-for-Passover bakery. Other Cub Food stores carry Passover items, so check your local store for details.
The Kosher Spot
4214 Minnetonka Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
www.thekosherspot.com“The nut-based seven layer cake, coconut macaroons and various types of finger cookies from Oberlander’s Bakery in New Jersey are some of the more popular Passover items,” says Manager Debbi Rabenstein. “Customers also like the many delicious cakes from Schick’s Gourmet Bakery in Brooklyn.” Locally owned The Kosher Spot offers a large selection of other kosher foods year-round, as well as a line of products that are gluten-free.
651 Cleveland Ave S
St. Paul, MN 55116
“At Cecil’s, we prepare desserts specifically for Passover,” says owner David Leventhal. This includes popovers, sponge cakes and cheesecake. The cheesecake has a special matzo meal crust instead of the usual graham cracker crust, although it is not dairy-free. “There are many customers who enjoy the Passover foods that we offer, and they have enjoyed that for over 65 years,” says Leventhal. “Some Jewish people do not shop with us, as we are open on Saturday and we do not have kosher supervision.” Just stepping into the deli gives one a feel of a New York deli and the restaurant in the back offers kosher-for-Passover meals. This fourth-generation, family-owned deli regularly features many other delicious non-kosher items such as carrot cake, the triangle-shaped hamantaschen filled with poppy seed, apple, apricot or almond paste or blintzes, a thin-rolled pancake filled with cheese or fruit and then fried or baked.
525 Winnetka Avenue North
Golden Valley, MN 55427
Celebrate the holiday with Mort’s famous potato knish shipped in from the Carnegie Deli, New York. While not a dessert, the tempting golden brown flaky crusted potato dish can be ordered with choice of meats and dressing to make it a real kosher treat. Another fun food to take out is a tray of crispy potato latkes served with sour cream and applesauce. As always, Mort’s has select brownie and lemon bars, Halvah Bars singly or in bulk as wells as a customer favorite, rugelach.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.