Apr 21, 2011

We'll Always Have Matzo...

About a month ago, during a trip to Walgreen's to pick up items including but not limited to painkillers and ice packs and heating pads and tampons and Cap’n Crunch, I noticed that the two center aisles of the store were completely bare.

I gasped. Was my favorite East Oakland Walgreen's going out of business? Where would I go when I needed overpriced medical supplies, an s-curl kit, and parking lot bootleg DVDs?

Of course, my fears were allayed when I noticed an employee at the end of one of the aisles unloading a crate of Marshmallow Peeps. Indeed, the store was not closing. Rather, they were preparing the "Seasonal" aisle for that springtime bounty of goyishe gossamer: Easter candy.

We Jews really bitch and moan about a lot of things, and near the top of that list is the way in which Hanukkah is overshadowed by the great festivities and traditions surrounding Christmas in our society. Santa-envy aside,I think Easter is actually a tougher gentile holiday for my people to endure—at least confectionarily (yes, I made that word up) speaking, as the awesomeness that is Easter candy truly surpasses any pedestrian candy cane or gingerbread house. And while there’s really no law against Jews partaking in most sugary Christmas treats like fruitcakes and pfeffernusse , the fact that Easter frequently coincides with Passover means that many of the delightful candies, cookies, and cakes the holiday rabbit bestows upon good Christian children are completely verboten given the strict dietary restrictions imposed upon Jews during that time.

Of course, being the shanda that I am, I personally have never fasted during Passover. I do remember, however, my best friend Shana bitching about it, as she gnawed on a piece of dry matzo in the school cafeteria. For a brief spell once a year, the school put out boxes of matzo in the cafeteria during lunchtime, no doubt at the demand of the one or two Jewish parents on the PTA who were sick of their kids being served chipped beef on toast during Pesach.

“Ugh. I fucking HATE Passover. I want pasta.”

“Pasta isn’t leavened, is it?”

“No, but it’s still chometz.”


Not allowed.”


“I don’t know. It’s just not.”

“I thought it was just bread that we’re not supposed to eat?” I asked, spreading a little more mayonnaise on my ham sandwich.

“Don’t get me started on bread. My mother makes these fucking ‘Passover rolls’ that double as hockey pucks. Ugh.”

“Your mom’s a good cook.  I've had her turkey.  It's delicious.”

Shana slammed the matzo down on her plate, and it shattered. She raised her voice.

“You know what REALLY pisses me off, though? Goyim eating matzo. Relishing that shit like it’s fucking levain toast from a French patisserie or something.”

“Hey, gentiles gotta eat too!”

It was true, though. The non-Jewish kids really went crazy for matzo. Everywhere you looked at lunchtime, you could see an Aryan child snarfing down matzo with peanut butter, jelly, butter, even the elusive and very goyishe marshmallow Fluff. I liken this phenomenon to the Jewish guy who, after his first semester at Boston University, brings home a blond shiksa to his mother on Long Island. Sure, it’s new and exciting and slightly forbidden, but it can also be pretty dry and bland, and something he’ll likely tire of when he has to eat it every day for the rest of his life.

“It’s not that, Tsada," Shana continued, playing with her matzo bits. "It’s just that, ugh." She glared across the room at Tracey O’Connor, who had deconstructed a cafeteria BLT and was rebuilding it between two pieces matzo. “If you don’t HAVE to eat this shit, then WHY would you eat this shit?” She bit into one of the shattered matzo pieces, then coughed, gently enveloping me in a cloud of matzo dust. “It’s like electing to have a medical procedure you don't *really* need."

"Matzo is not liposuction, Shana," I said, looking down at my plump-ish thighs.

"You're right.  Matzo sucks more.  No pun intended."

Having never kept kosher for Pesach, I really can’t complain about the evils of matzo, but I can speak about how much it sucked to have the Passover Rabbit leave the following shit on my doorstep:

Joyva Jell Rings

Imagine Robitussin came in gel form. Then cover it in kosher “chocolate”. Mmmnot.

Egg Kichel
Approximate shape and texture of a contraceptive sponge, but not nearly as moist and delightful.

Joyva Marshmallow Twists

I kind of think of marshmallow as the confectionery equivalent of mayonnaise: gross yet admittedly tasty, and probably best left to the gentiles (see Marshmallow Peeps, above). Maybe that's because most commercial marshmallow is made with pig gelatin, whereas the kosher marshmallow in these candies is made with the freshly harvested semen of young Israeli clowns.*

*not actually made with clown semen

Streit’s Gummy Gefilte Fish

I actually have never had these. I just had to list them because…OMG…They. Exist.

Manischewitz Coconut Macaroons

They’re kosher cookies. In a can.

Barton’s Fruit Slices
Okay, I actually really like these. They’re kind of weird texturally, and they’re cloyingly sweet, but they’re just so damn pretty to look at. Mainly, though, I like them because I have an uncle—we’ll call him "Asshole"— who was particularly mean to me as a child. In his youth, Asshole ate so many of these fruit slices in one sitting that he reportedly vomited rainbows for days. Consequently, Asshole no longer can be in the same room as this candy without becoming physically ill. In honor of this unfortunate awesome event, we give Asshole a box of these every year on Passover, because it is fun for the family to watch him gag and suffer, reflecting upon days of yore.

And, in the end, isn’t that really what holidays are all about?

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The Lazy Paperboy said...

Thanks for this peek at the other side of Easter. We are are the world. We are the children.

If you've never read this, do. Culture, language, holidays and candy.


R3 said...

I want gummy gefilte fish.

tsada kay said...

TLP--Thank you. Good stuff.

Cootz--I will buy you some.

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