The Passover plate remains the same, all the dishes around it undergo a major change, even in ultra-Orthodox society that is less inclined to adopt culinary trends (Photo: ShutterStock)
Seder Pesach is not only a religious ceremony, but a traditional and family event that is celebrated by almost everyone who defines themselves as secular.
Even though the Haggadah, the Passover plate and the afikoman remain close to tradition even among those who read only up to the "Shulchan edad", the holiday table, which once contained only traditional foods, has changed beyond recognition.
It is true that the majority of the secular public also reduces their food purchases before the Seder night to kosher products for Pesach, either for reasons of tradition, out of a desire to consider more strict relatives or simply because almost all food chains in Israel sell only kosher products for Pesach before and during the holiday.
Food basket for Passover, ranking of popular chains in the ultra-orthodox sector according to the price of the basket (Photo: Daniel Malachovski)
But with all due respect to the kosher ingredients - the dishes on the holiday table have changed beyond recognition: it has long been no longer about gefilte fish, roast beef and other classic dishes from Jewish cuisine, whether originating in Eastern Europe or North Africa, but about upgraded Israeli food, which will often be a combination of a traditional dish with an advanced interpretation.
If among the secular public this is a phenomenon that began many years ago, then among the religious public - and even more so, the ultra-Orthodox - it is a trend of recent years: the ultra-Orthodox, in part, may be hostile to the reformist current, but when it comes to the delicacies on the holiday table, they are definitely in favor of traditions news (within the strict kosher limits of course).
Thus, for example, the place of the carp is being pushed away from the salmon.
The roast beef gives way to more updated cuts and even matzoh is replaced in the form of kosher rolls for Passover.
Of course, among the ultra-Orthodox, the sectarian nuances are more prominent, for example between those who eat legumes and those who avoid them, Moroccan Jews who avoid eating rice, Persian immigrants who keep hummus off the table - and more.
One distinguishing fact nevertheless characterizes the ultra-Orthodox consumption culture in the run-up to Passover.
Among the secular or even traditional, who avoid consuming chametz during the seven days of the holiday, the chametz is removed to a separate cupboard or even left visible - and simply not used.
Among the ultra-Orthodox, there is not only a complete avoidance of chametz, but also of products such as various sauces and even spices that are not necessarily chametz, but are also not kosher for Pesach.
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Retail chains in the ultra-orthodox sector, the "Passover Basket" table (Photo: Daniel Malachovsky)
The religious belief also dictates a consumer culture: the meaning of the complete removal of chametz from the home, let alone the kitchen, requires a massive purchase not only of fresh food, but also of preserves, cleaning materials and more.
That's why the shopping basket for the ultra-orthodox public for Passover is particularly large - even if some of them still stick to the classic foods and don't convert the "Falesh Filet" into a premium sirloin.
And what's more: the purchase of food and other products for the home, for families that are often much larger than the average among the secular public, inevitably translates into greater spending in the run-up to Pesach and sometimes gives rise to wise consumerism, since even a simple product such as matzah (not even "matza shumora") is not satisfied with one package , but in an amount that should be enough for many mouths for the entire days of the holiday.
Although to the secular observer from the outside the ultra-Orthodox society appears as one piece, not only is it internally made up of different currents, but also the supermarkets popular among the sector, which receive from the outside the inclusive definition of "Orthodox", represent different levels of stock, strict kosher degrees and more - and accordingly, also Prices.
Some of them are attractive and also attract secular customers, but as we found out, not all of them.
We surveyed 9 marketing chains in the ultra-orthodox sector and the differences between them surprised us: on the Passover basket we put together, we discovered a gap of 32% between the different chains.
The cheapest basket in the sample is found on the Osher network with a basket worth NIS 846 compared to the same basket on the cheap and large network worth NIS 1,124 - that is, a difference of NIS 278, which is 33%.
The author, Dr. Hazi Gur Mizrahi, is the CEO of the Retail Research Institute
Cheap and big
Kosher for Passover