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Spice Up Your Passover with Pereg

Spice Up Your Passover with Pereg

Ita Yankovich — Published in The Jewish Press

When we first moved to Midwood, a local Rebbetzin invited my husband and I to join her family for Friday night dinner. Being Baruch Hashem a family of eight young children, her home was modest and simple as we all huddled together sitting on folding chairs. On the surface her menu looked simple too-gefilte fish, vegetable soup, chicken bottoms and a salad, that is until you took a bite. I was blown away; her dishes were bursting with flavor. When I asked for the recipes, she laughed and said it was mostly seasoned with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. “But you have to know where to get the right spices, “she revealed in her thick Israeli accent. Unless she recently visited the shuk in Yershulayim, looking back today, I have no doubt she was using Pereg spices.

Spices have always been instrumental in cuisine. One can take a mundane dish like chicken bottoms and transform it to something rustic, exotic, or spicy all with a little shake and sprinkle.

With Passover quickly approaching, this is the time when many scour through family cookbooks or surf the web looking for that recipe that will elevate their family’s Seder experience and evolve their food from bland to brilliant. Although Passover has many dietary restrictions, luckily species is not one of them, giving you the opportunity to play with blends that can really boost your fish, chicken, soups, salad and more, and the best part is, in addition to spices contributing to add robust flavor, they do so without adding any calories or fat and some are known to even have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Pereg sent me a sample of their popular Seasoned Matzo Crumbs to review and I was blown away! At first, I was thinking, it’s just bread crumbs, how different could they be, but they are! It is obvious even by the appearance of the product that these bread crumbs are produced with care and embedded with a nice combination of spices and flavors. Pereg’s Seasoned Matzo Crumbs was introduced to their long line of spice blends back in 2018 and has since been one of their best sellers often flying off the shelves.  It consists of  three different verities: Plain, which is always good, Classic, which is composed of potato flakes, paprika, garlic, parsley, Red Sea Salt,  and cayenne pepper and for those with a daring palate, the Full Flavored, which consists of paprika, onion, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, parsley, and Red Sea Salt. I love the options in seasonings. When I’m entertaining my parents over Passover, they prefer the Plain  blend as bold spices tend to aggravate their blood pressure and overall digestion, but my kids love the Classic flavor for it’s extra kick in flavor. My husband and I always go for the Full Flavored blend as we feel it really elevates any dish we put it in. The texture of the crumbs, the slight pop in color of the incorporated spices, and the wonderful golden shade produced after frying, really turns our dishes from blah to brilliant.  The Seasoned Matzo Crumbs are very versatile and user friendly; they are great in baking, frying, and even air-frying.  

How does this product differ from their other wide variety of flavored blends, you ask? Well, the Seasoned Matzo Crumbs is comparable to their traditional panko and bread crumbs that Pereg offers all year round, but this particular item differs in that they have been customized with Passover in mind. Meaning that that the company uses only the highest quality of matzo that is then crushed into fine crumbs. Of course, all Pereg products are always produced under strict rabbinical supervision with extra precautions taken during the Passover season to assure that there is no contamination with chometz.

Typically, one would use bread crumbs to coat chicken, fish, and vegetables, but are there other so many other things you could do with Pereg’s Seasoned Matzo Crumbs.  Consider using them to make matzo balls, doing so will save you the effort of measuring spices, since there’s great flavor already mixed in. How about sprinkling it over matza brei for a little extra texture that adds a nice complexity? I like to add them to my meatloaf and tuna patties to give them more depth. Here’s an interesting idea: Add them to eggs! Yes, by throwing them into the frying pan oil and topping with a cracked egg and then into the broiler, you can achieve a nice crunchy golden crust with a gooey eggy top: delicious!!!

But before you go crazy sprinkling the Seasoned Matzo Crumbs on everything; be mindful of not overdoing it and burning the dish. Brett Fuss from Pereg recommends that cooks avoid burning the coating by using a tray when baking, so the schnitzel gets crispy on all sides and not burning at the bottom.  He also favors egg or mayo for good coating on the protein. 

Pereg is a company that has been in the business for 117 years. Their whole line of species is of course OU kosher certified, pas Yisroel, kemach Yoshon, vegan and proudly made in the USA.

If you are looking to amplify up your Passover menu, I highly suggest you stock up on Pereg’s Seasoned Matzo Crumbs as they are only available this time of year. In fact, Brett jokes that he has heard of a customer hoarding the product buying cases of the Seasoned Matzo Crumbs to use throughout the year because they enjoy them so much. Needless to say, customer feedback has been off the charts.

For Passover, save your time and money and stop scouring through piles of cookbooks for the best recipes to enhance your Seder table. All you have to do is simply use Pereg spices, and your guests will be amazed at what a little dash can do to your dish.

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