Spring, Freedom, and Parsley!
Every year in early spring, Jews around the world celebrate Passover in a celebration of freedom from slavery. As the story goes, in order to help the Jews flee Egypt, God cast many plagues on the Egyptians. The Passover Seder is the telling of the story of how the Israelites escaped, with symbolic foods to represent themes that remind us of the bitterness of slavery and the sweetness of freedom.
One of the symbolic gestures at the Seder is to dip parsley in salt water. There are a variety of interpretations of this gesture. The salt water represents the tears shed during slavery, while parsley is a reminder of spring and good things to come.
Botanically speaking, parsley belongs to the same family as carrots and celery. While parsley is often used as a garnish, this non-starchy vegetable is a good source of Vitamins C and K. Parsley serves as a main ingredient in some middle-eastern style salads as well as a flavorful herb to be added to marinades, hummus, salad dressings, soup and pasta. If you’re not up for eating parsley as a main ingredient, don’t waste your garnish-it also serves to eliminate bad breath after a meal!
If you don’t celebrate Passover but you’ve been invited to your first Seder-get ready to celebrate Spring and freedom during a really long meal that includes four glasses of wine plus a pillow
before giving up leavened products for 8 days!
What’s not to love about that?