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Apr 8, 2005 12:45 PM

Passover egg traditions

  • b

OK, so in my family we now have 3 different traditions for eating eggs at the Passover Seder:

1. whole plain hard-boiled (my dad's side)
2. chopped hard-boiled mixed into salt water AKA 'the slurry.'
3. whole hard-boiled served in a bowl of salt water (my husband's family).

Are there any others? I'm just curious. Thanks.

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  1. There is also the Yekkish no-hard boiled egg tradition.
    They feel that a hard-boiled egg is sign of mourning and therefore not appropriate on yontif.

    7 Replies
    1. re: David
      charm city nosher

      My husband's family did a boiled potato in salt water, so we combined the two: a hard-boiled egg AND a potato, in salt water.

      1. re: David

        There is a link with the egg as mourning. 1st day pesakh is the same day as Tisha b'av. see kinot - b'tzeiti mimitrayim.

        But for symbology of hard boiled egg, see Ki-Tov, sefer ha'toda'a - over a dozen symbolic explanations. Also, see Roman custom of meal from eggs to apples, "ab ovo usque ad mala".

        Egg also symbolizes korban h'agigah, as opposed to the z'roah - korban hapesa'h'.

        1. re: Jerome
          charm city nosher

          Please translate "korban h'agigah".

          thanks -

          1. re: charm city nosher

            Korban Hagigah = Festive sacrifice.

            This was offered on all three festivals and Passover was no exception.

        2. re: David

          My family never served hardboiled eggs either. Neither did my husband's family.

          What does "Yekkish" mean?

          Thanks, P.J.

          1. re: p.j.

            Yekkish means German Jewish. German Jews were were called Yekkis from the German/Yiddish word for jacket, refering to the short waist length jackets that German Jews wore (and are now pretty standard for non-chasidim) as opposed to the calf or ankle length coats that Eastern European Jews wore.

            1. re: David

              Thanks for the translation and explanation. I always enjoy learning the "shoresh" (root) of words, so to speak.
              That said, neither of us comes from Yekkish or reform backgrounds. Maybe our families dropped the eggs so we could fill up on charoset instead!
              Thanks, p.j.

        3. Our family tradition is the slurry or as we call it egg soup.

          It would also be nice to know where these traditions are from geogrphically - this comes my maternal grandfather - who is from Poland -

          3 Replies
          1. re: david

            Just saw this on Chowhound. My family also does this and is from central Poland. We are trying to find out if it a geographical or family custom. Mine is from Kutno near Lodz.


            1. re: david

              We've always done a variation on this - sliced, not chopped, hard-boiled eggs in salt water. And yes, this comes from my maternal grandfather, also Polish.

            2. p
              peppermint pate

              Okay, not exactly the answer to your question but if you end up with any leftover hard-boiled eggs (or make some more later in the week), our family Passover tradition is to mash them up with a fork and then add a bit of oil, diced onion, salt and pepper. Serve on matzoh. Simple and yet so delicious, every year we say "why do we only make this on Pesach?" and yet, that's exactly what we do. Mmm, looking forward to it already.

              2 Replies
              1. re: peppermint pate

                I love "tzibbel mit eyer" - but it's even better if you saute the onions a bit...and better yet, cook the eggs in your cholent (makes them fleishig), gives them a meaty flavor!

                1. re: DebbyT

                  I make eggs chopped together with well-caramelized sautéed onions almost for almost every Shabbos. It's a very nice appetizer, and always welcome by my non-chopped liver eaters, since it looks a lot like what everyone else is eating (I make my chopped liver with eggs and sautéed onions as well).

              2. We dip hard boiled (whole or cut in half usually) eggs into the salt water before shulchan oruch (the main meal). Family is from Poland.

                1. We cook the eggs in water with onion peels until the shells turn orange-brown. Whole hard boiled eggs are peeled at the table and eaten in salt water. Our family is from a small town in Lithuania, but this seems to be a sephardic tradition. Anyone know the origins? Perhaps dyed to look like roasted eggs? Oldest unmarried woman has to eat the egg that inevitably gets cracked at the bottom of the pot.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mamaleh

                    Sephardi Huevos Haminados. I've seen speculation that the custom began in a cholent (hamim) pot. If you cook the eggs in water with lots of onion peels overnight, you get a mild, non oniony flavor in the egg white.

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      Forget quinoa, maybe I can eat RICE!!!! :)

                      1. re: AdinaA

                        I just read in Gil Mark's Encyclopedia of Jewish Food (p.253), that eggs dyed for Pesach with onion skin in parts of Poland and Byelorussia are called valetshovnes.