Is Black Pepper Kosher For Passover?

Salt (sodium chloride) is a natural mineral that is “mined” from subsurface sources. The fabled destination for the politically unpopular, salt mines are rarely used to extract this mineral for human consumption. Although snow and ice melting salt can still be extracted from the ground, it contains far too many contaminants for general usage.

Evaporative salt is the type of salt humans consume. Pumping water into a subsurface salt deposit and collecting the liquid brine created when the salt dissolves in the water removes it from the ground. After that, the brine is heated and concentrated, allowing the water to evaporate and the salt to crystallize. These crystals can grow to a variety of sizes. The name “corned” beef, for example, refers to the usage of giant corn-like salt crystals to coat and preserve the flesh. The way in which the crystal is allowed to form determines its size. “Kosher” salt is simply salt that has been crystallized into larger particles, making it ideal for salting meat to eliminate blood. 2 Kosher salt is preferred by some chefs because it often includes no additives (see below). The flavor of the larger salt crystal may be dispersed differently. Kosher salt, on the other hand, is chemically similar to all other pure kinds of salt.

The fact that our table salt is made this way has a fascinating halachic implication. On Shabbos, the Shulchan Aruch3 addresses whether it is permissible to add salt to hot food because the heat may cook the salt. However, the Mishna Berura points out that this worry only pertains to salt extracted from the ground. Boiling (i.e. evaporating) salt is regarded to have already been cooked and is therefore not subject to the same restrictions. Solar evaporation, on the other hand, is the primary source of sea salt. Sunlight has a distinct halachic status than heat generated by combustion, thus such salt should not be heated to a temperature that is deemed cooking. This would expose sun evaporated salt to the original Shabbos worries about cooking.

However, salt may not be completely pure. It could, for example, be utilized to give a vital but unrelated nutrient. The thyroid gland illness goiter is caused by a lack of iodine in the diet. Nutritionists invented iodized salt fifty years ago. This vitamin is now found in most table salt in the form of potassium iodide. In the presence of moisture, potassium iodide degrades; to safeguard the iodine, a tiny amount of dextrose is frequently added to the salt to avoid oxidation. While dextrose is not normally a kashrus issue, it is made from corn (and occasionally wheat) starch, which makes it problematic for Passover use. We buy non-iodized salt during Passover precisely because of this. Ironically, the preservative, not the iodine, is the source of the problem.

Other additives are added to table salt, such as calcium silicate or yellow prussate of soda, to ensure that it pours even in humid conditions and is kosher. Glycerin is present in several salts used in industrial applications, such as glycerated salts. Polysorbates may be found in other big crystal salts. Kashrus issues do exist with these industrial salts. Due to the presence of several trace minerals found in seawater, sea salt tends to impart a somewhat different flavor. They are, however, insignificant from a kashrus standpoint.

Pepper is the second most widely used spice. However, the term “pepper” has suffered from the same historical misunderstanding as the term “Indian” in the United States. When Columbus mistook the West Indies for the East Indies and misnamed its unfortunate inhabitants, he also misunderstood the spices he discovered in the New World for the spices he sought in the Old. Peppercorns are the fruit of the piper nigrum L plant, which grows in long pods of little berries known as peppercorns. When Columbus arrived in the West Indies, however, he discovered chile plants that resembled the peppercorn clusters he was looking for. These spicy veggies were popular with these explorers because their flavor could conceal the rancid taste of the ship’s provisions, which was the lot of the seafarer. 4 These peppers were promptly given names by Columbus, and they have remained a cause of consternation ever since. Indeed, it is only by keeping this distinction in mind that one may fully learn the Gemara5. The Gemara talks of “long peppers,” which are actually long pods of peppercorns, not the long garden peppers that are popular nowadays. 7

Because of this linguistic difficulty, pepper can refer to a variety of different things. Black pepper is made from the immature fruit of the typical pepper vine that has been harvested and dried in the sun. The fruit remains white after being let to ripen on the vine and then dried. Green peppercorns are made from unripe berries that have been brine-preserved. Cayenne pepper (also known as red pepper) is, on the other hand, a chile cultivar famed for its hot flavor. Paprika is a chile varietal that the Hungarians have adopted. They guarded it with such zeal that complete seeds were not allowed to be transported, lest their spice jewel be grown elsewhere.

Pepper, regardless of gender, poses no kashrus issues throughout the year or during Pesach. However, it has been reported that firms will combine oil into paprika to maintain color uniformity while still calling it pure. As a result, it’s important to get paprika that’s been certified as kosher for Passover.

Our Rabbis explain8 the line in Yeshayahu9, “The serpent’s bread is dust,” as follows: Even if the serpent eats all of the world’s delights, it will only taste dust. The serpent’s punishment was that he would never be able to enjoy the pleasure of tasting the food he ate.

People have the ability to appreciate food flavor, and man has discovered several ways to improve it. The Torah is known as tavlin, which means “ten spice.” Spices and other flavorings provide our food and the halachos that govern its kashrus a new depth. As a result, it is our job to guarantee that it is flavored with Torah.

Is it necessary for whole black pepper to be kosher for Passover?

“Whole plain peppercorns do not require a hechsher for Pesach,” writes cRc Kosher on Twitter.

Which spices are Passover-friendly?

Please note that not all items with Passover kosher certification are available.

All of our Kosher for Passover goods are listed here. You must enter “Passover” in the “Order Comments” input area, which is found in the Shipping Field of the checkout page, when placing an order.

Is it kosher to eat entire spices during Passover?

Kitniyos include aniseed, caraway, coriander, cumin, dill seeds, fennel seeds, and mustard. When used whole, all other spices are permissible for Passover, however ground spices require Passover certification.

Do Passover spices have to be kosher?

Passover certification is required for ground spices. They can be processed on chametz-containing equipment and contaminated with kitniyot or chametz.

Is there any kosher oil for Passover?

As long as it displays the OU sign, all extra virgin olive oils are Kosher for Passover. Except for virgin coconut oil, all other oils (including olive oil) require a trustworthy Kosher for Passover certification to be ingested on Passover.

Is Tajin Passover-kosher?

There is no risk of cross contamination because TAJN includes no seeds, peanuts, or nuts. TAJN is also free of the eight most common allergies, including milk, shellfish, soy, wheat, egg, and nuts. It’s also Halal.

Is garlic permissible during Passover?

Most American Jews do not eat kitniyot at Passover. It’s best to avoid cooking any kitniyot foods during Passover unless you’re completely certain that everyone at your Seder follows Sephardic practices.

In addition to these limitations, many Jews avoid eating lamb during Passover since the lamb shank bone represents the paschal sacrifice and the Passover holiday. Garlic is also avoided by some Jews, though this is less common. However, neither of these rules is universally followed.

My husband replied, “Let’s not rush into this.” That’s fine with me. It feels strange to think about eating kitniyot at our seder. Not, the RA would say, that there’s anything wrong with that. Rabbi Amy Levin, who co-authored one of the responsa, was quoted in a recent article in The Forward. “I hear everything from, ‘Yes, we’ve already been sort of kind of playing with this already,’ to ‘Thank you, we’ve been wondering if we could do this,’ to, ‘I agree with you, but I don’t know if I could do this in my kitchen,’ to, ‘I’d be afraid that my seder guests might have a problem.’

“The only reason to observe this custom, asserts Rabbi Golinkin, “is the desire to preserve an old custom. For some, that might be good enough. “Custom is often the initiative of the grassroots, Rabbi Levin explains. “I have pots and dishes that were my grandmother’s. I don’t know if I’m putting lentils in my grandma’s pot. I’ll make lentils in mine. Because it’s kishkes, it’s this gut reaction to things. The gut reaction to things is very important in our tradition. It shouldn’t all be cerebral.

Finally, my friend Marty adds his two shekels: “Interesting that at one point in time some rabbis thought that coffee beans were kitniyot. I can deal with no rice and beans for a week, but would never give up coffee.