Why is PASSOVER different from all other holidays for people with Celiac Disease and those who are Gluten Intolerant?
In addition to the FOUR QUESTIONS at the Seder we have another one to ask. This question has a rather simple answer, and one in which every child who has ever felt ‘different’ or ‘excluded’ because of his/her disease or allergy or intolerance will appreciate.
On THIS particular holiday, GLUTEN FREE FLOURS are COOL! Not all, but most, as they do not rise, or ferment on their own, and except for a few, which I will explain in a moment, are not considered one of the 5 grains to be avoided, or “Chometz”, OR “Kitniyot” which translates to rice, millet, corn, and legumes. Now, Those Jews who are considered to be of ‘Sephardic” descent, WILL consume rice, and last year the governing Conservative Rabbis decided that after centuries of debate that corn would be allowed, but traditionally, If you are Sephardic by ancestry, you do not consume corn, rice or millet, ( or sorghum either,) and if you are Sephardim, Rice is ok.
That being said, all of a sudden, Gluten Free Food starts to disappear off of the supermarket shelves!! Especially once people start to read the ingredients on their Passover food and realize that Gluten Free food is often more more interesting!!!! Often the same is true in reverse, HOWEVER!!!! BUYERS BEWARE!!!! IF you have Celiac disease or Gluten Intolerance, DO NOT ASSUME that just because something is kosher for PASSOVER that it does not contain wheat!!!!!!!
There are Rabbis whose main purpose in life is to monitor specially grown wheat specifically for Passover that never comes into contact with anything else so that it can only be used in the production of Matzo and Matzo Meal, the special flour used during Passover, so that it will not ferment or leaven when mixed with water. Therefore, you must read your labels carefully, because if it says matzo meal or Passover wheat, it is no good for you!!!!!!!
Beyond that, go forwards and have fun with Potato flour, Potato Starch (two different things!) Tapioca flour/starch, Cassava flour, Quinoa flour, and Arrowroot. All are safe. All are yummy and sweet, and bake and roll well (with a little finesse). No extra sugar is required and for once you and your friends will all be eating the same!!!