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April 16, 2008

Kitniot and Godzilla

Passover is approaching, and just as winter turns to spring, the birds return from the south, and the sounds of baseball fill the air, I inevitably get a lot of visitors searching for the term "kitniot."

I'm pleased to report that if you search for the term "kitniot" on Google, the very first article you will reach is my three-year old post called "The four stages of kitniot." Now, I'm not going to claim that this post is the best thing I've ever written, but for some reason it's the one that's drawn the most over-the-top compliments, namely "approaching genius," "damn near perfect," and a "landmark." I still blush.

I don't mention this to toot my own horn. If you check the sidebar to the right, you'll notice I tend to highlight disparaging comments about me. But I was thinking about what makes the "four stages" post work, and I've concluded it's this: First, kitniot are baffling and a little scary, and thus they're a good subject for humor. Second, the allusion to Kubler-Ross lends mock seriousness. Third, it's topped off by my friend Martin's hilarious letter, which I quoted in full in the post.

So, in honor of Martin, I'm going to translate the entire post, including his letter, into Japanese. Why Japanese? I don't know. Why not Japanese?

Click here.

Chag kasher v'sameach.

Bonus: An article in the NY Times today about the author of the "Kosher by Design" cookbook series, which now includes "Passover by Design." To overcome being "frum from birth," she's quizzed chefs about how to duplicate certain tastes, like Thai, which she's never experienced. All well and good, but when I eat kosher Thai, I want it made by someone who knows what the tref version tastes like. Quizzing chefs may or may not work.

Super-de-dooper bonus: "Worrying about the propriety of eating kosher cheeseburgers is no different than worrying about eating kitniyot on Pesah." (via Kitniyot Liberation Front)