HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >

Discussion

Kosher L'Pesach Margarine

For anyone who needs a review of what happened last year, here is the wiki-article about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Pas...

I spoke to a guy at my local Stop and Shop here in Teaneck today...he was stocking the kosher cheese. ACCORDING TO HIM Mother's brand is not making margarine at all this year, maybe Ha-Olam and one other brand will have it for Pesach.

As people see the stick margarine (there was plenty of tub margarine last year) showing up on their shelves, could you let me know?

Any other information is greatly appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. This would be the perfect time to drop the Kitniyot issue once and for all...

    1. I guess the question really is do any of the companies that are selling margarine, Ha-Olam, Mehadrim, J&J, etc. are actually manufacturing them or are they shell companies that only make wrapping and boxes with no manufacturing facilities behind them. It would be a shame if there is only one real company making margarine and we are at their mercy as to whether they decide to manufacture margarine to the kosher consumer or not.

      1. They were rationing it in Chicago last year like it was 1942.

        1. I truly don't remember finding it hard to buy margarine last year. Maybe I shopped early (1 week before) but it was everywhere.

          6 Replies
          1. re: cheesecake17

            Possibly because the price was so high? It was more expensive than butter.

            1. re: cheesecake17

              It was plentiful in the tubs....but the formula for making it that way has a higher water content, and it severely affected recipes...well the baking ones at least. It was the sticks that were non-existent.

              1. re: vallevin

                I found the sticks. And I remember them being on sale.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  Maybe you're thinking of 2 years ago? Check this board from last year; almost no one could find any. I know I couldn't find any either in the Kew Gardens Hills area or at Brach's in the Five Towns. I got by with cake recipes that used oil, which is healthier anyway, but stick margarine certainly was almost impossible to find. BTW, one week before is hardly early; many people do their baking weeks before.

                  1. re: queenscook

                    Nope it was definitely last year. I remember buying a box and not even using it on Pesach. I guess I got lucky :)

                    Was it last year or the year before that tam tam crackers were nonexistant?

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      Also last year. But I never buy those, so I wouldn't even have known that if not for reading it here.

            2. Oh, this is making me anxious way in advance of Pesach. I have a fabulous flourless choc cake recipe that is great with butter, ok w/ marg, but I am afraid of what it will be like with oil. Has anyone tried a flourless choc cake with oil in lieu of butter or margarine that tasted like the real deal? I hate the fake taste of a lot of pareve Pesach recipes, and I am afraid that the oil would not perform as the butter & margarine do in the recipe

              2 Replies
              1. re: doc_k55

                Can't speak from actual experience, but my guess is that it won't work. The thing about margarine is that it is solid at room temp, which is one thing that keeps the cake cake. With oil, it probably won't set up.

                1. re: doc_k55

                  bake a chocolate mousse-it makes a fabulous cake!

                2. here's the deal!! mother's manufacturer{they don't produce their own product,neither does haolom or eden} decided that they will only produce about 20 % of the order that mother's required.so there will be a shortage on mother's most likely. whatever stock there will be will be most likely will be going to fill chain store contracts and not the local privately owned stores.
                  there will be one lb bar and tubs-no sticks!!! from haolom and eden brand but both these company's demand a higher price than mother's, possibly because of the different manufacturer that is producing for them. good luck to all

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: gleibler

                    But does anyone know WHY? It didn't really affect me that much; I just experimented more with oil in my cake recipes, and they all worked perfectly fine, which works for me, because I've eliminated transfats from my own cooking almost totally during the rest of the year, and now for Pesach as well. But it would interest me to know why the manufacturers have decided against producing more. Did they find in previous years that it didn't sell? Has the anti-transfats trend hit here? If anyone knows, I'd really like to know.

                    1. re: queenscook

                      queenscook, this may need a new thread, but can you say more about how you've eliminated transfats in your cooking- especially pareve desserts? I ask this having just gone through 3 sticks of margarine making babka and cookies for shabbos...

                      1. re: serenarobin

                        I usually use the Earth Balance margarine when I bake. To make things healthier, I try to replace oil or some butter/margarine with unsweetened applesauce.

                        1. re: serenarobin

                          Just as Cheesecake17 has said, I too have been using Earth Balance or Soy Garden (same stuff, different brands) for the recipes that call for a solid fat. I know they sell it in stick form, but I buy it in tubs at Trader Joe's, where it is a bit cheaper I think. I weigh it on my food scale (on the tub lid), so no greasy measuring cups or spoons. I also look for recipes that call for oil to begin with. Although I am not generally a big chocolate cake fan, I truly love the chocolate cake recipe I make. It is the Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe from The Kosher Palette, though I have reduced the oil down to 1/3 of a cup, perhaps even a bit less. I haven't tried the soy margarine for a parve buttercream-type frosting, so I don't know how well it works there. Instead, I have been making a parve cream-cheese frosting with the Tofutti transfat-free cream cheese. Note, though, that it is much harder to find than their regular parve cream-cheese. (I have no idea why they even make the regular one anymore, when most manufacturers have switched over, and they are already making a transfat-free version--which tastes exactly the same!) Still, it lasts a long time, so every now and then, I go to somewhere that sells it and I stock up with as much as I can reasonably fit in my fridge at the time. (It's in a yellow tub, not the standard white one.)

                          Pesach posed a bit more of a problem last year, but I just subbed oil in many cake recipes and was quite pleased with the results. The one cake I was the most surprised about was my favorite Pesach cake--a Raisin Streusel Cake that was originally from Bon Appetit April 1992. I have changed it quite a bit, and this past year, I finally tried it with oil rather than margarine. The surprise was that the streusel worked fine with oil. The reason, interestingly enough, was not the margarine shortage, but to recommend the recipe to someone who does not use any processed products on Pesach. Don't ask me what that means; I have no idea, other than when I told her about the cake two years ago, she asked if it had margarine, and when I told her it did, she said she doesn't use processed products on Pesach. I told her I'd try it with oil, and report back to her. I did, and I'm now reporting to you as well: it worked well, and I'm quite pleased to eliminate that much more transfats from my baking.

                          So, in a nutshell, I have almost no problem during the bulk of the year, as the Earth Balance/Soy Garden stuff is very easy to use, and for Pesach, I use recipes that call for oil in the first place (not only cakes, by the way, but mousses and other desserts), substitute oil where I can in recipes that call for margarine, and make lots of sorbet and meringues that don't call for fat to begin with. Pesach is hard enough weight-wise; the more I can do without fat, the better.

                          1. re: queenscook

                            Thanks for the advice queenscook! I have been afraid to use the Earth Blanace tub margarine for baking but will give it a try. And I will definitely look for that cream cheese!
                            Back to Pesach--do you bake with cottonseed oil or olive? I know olive has more of a flavor that some don't want in their baked goods but it seems healther than cottonseed, I think.

                            1. re: serenarobin

                              I baked chocolate cupcakes last year using extra light olive oil.

                              1. re: serenarobin

                                cheesecake17 and I seem to be on the same page about quite a lot. I use extra light olive oil generally. I have also used walnut oil in the past, as I think nut oils are fairly healthy, though I think I had trouble finding a small bottle last year, and didn't want to buy a large bottle of both olive and walnut oils, as I really use so little oil over the chag. Of course I then use them afterwards (I keep many things from one Pesach to the next, but oil doesn't stay fresh for that long), but I just didn't need that much.

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  I thought the olive oil worked great, and plus it was on sale.

                                  Another dessert that's a hit on passover is tiramisu. My aunt makes it every year with the kosher for passover lady fingers. Everyone flips over it. Plus it's easy to make and isn't as heavy as cake.

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    I always think I like tiramisu, then I have it somewhere and remember I don't! I don't like wet cake. For Pesach this year, I plan to use the recipe that koshergourmetmart gave me for chocolate mousse in the thread about the mousse I had at Smokey Joe's last week. I made it for Shabbos last week and it was great. Also very easy to make and not heavy.

                                    1. re: queenscook

                                      For some reason, it's the kids in the family who eat the tiramisu!

                                      I noticed that mousse recipe.. maybe I'll try it. Thanks for letting me know how it came out.

                                      Also- my grandma makes a passover sponge cake that has oil instead of margarine. it's really light and you wouldn't know it's a passover dessert. She serves it with homemade ice cream.

                                      1. re: cheesecake17

                                        Cheesecake...I haven't been paying enough attention to this part of the discussion until now. You just do a 1:1 replacement with extra light olive oil for EVERYTHING?

                                        1. re: vallevin

                                          I know you asked Cheesecake, but if I can put a word in here. . . I don't think you should try to simply substitute 1:1 in all cases. In my case, first I try to find recipes that call for oil rather than margarine. I just pulled out my copy of the Passover article from Bon Appetit from 1985, and of the 10 dessert/cake recipes, literally only one calls for margarine. Then, I look to see if in the recipes, the margarine is called for in solid form or melted. If it's melted, I do substitute oil, generally 1:1. Beyond that, I use my familiarity with baking and with specific recipes to decide which would work with oil and which wouldn't. I have a chocolate pie recipe that uses margarine, but because the pie must remain solid at room temperature, oil wouldn't work well to replace a solid fat. For that, I only use Soy Garden and don't make it on Pesach. Pesach is a bit harder, but there are so many cake recipes that don't use margarine, that I simply don't find that it's necessary to attempt to use the ones that do. It's only eight (or seven) days; I and my guests will survive without any one particular cake; there are hundreds of other recipes I can use for many others.

                                          1. re: queenscook

                                            Basically, I do the same thing. I sub oil if it calls for melted margarine or oil. Most of my recipes are from my grandmother, so she did all the testing and recipe writing. One recipe that works great with oil is a date nut bar.

                                      2. re: queenscook

                                        Glad you liked my recipe! It's a real winner!

                                          1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                            Are you saying you are the one who created the Bon Appetit Raisin Streusel Cake from 1992 or am I misreading? If so, kudos.

                              2. re: queenscook

                                QC: I believe it had to do with the fact that the farmers were able to get a higher price on the cotton-seed for ethanol than for food productions. So there just wasn't that much cotton-seed oil to begin with.

                                Marty: We are already at a loss for Pesach 2009, maybe 2010 will be different now that oil prices have fallen so much.

                            2. Does anyone know FOR SURE whether there will be a margarine shortage this year or not before we start altering recipies for this Pesach. Should not be such a military secret. I am sure that kosher stores are setting up their Pesach orders by now.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: MartyB

                                As I see it, it's not about availability or price; transfats are poison, and that's what's behind the alterations I have made. And it doesn't matter whether it's "only eight days." I would advise those who care about their health (not simply their weight), and particularly those who want to avoid heart problems later on, to consider altering recipes for their own good, and if what Cheesecake or I say can help convince someone to try using some heart-healthy olive oil instead of artery-clogging cottonseed margarine, all the better.

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  I had no idea that was the motivation. Based on what you said, I hope there is no kosher for passover stick margarine this year.

                                  I will have to have a talk with my daughter. I see her taking sticks of margarine and microwaving them for her recipies. What is the equivalent olive oil for a stick of margarine? If I may trouble you, what is the difference between all the olive oils that I see in stores, by that I mean, regular olive oil, light, extra virgin etc. Are they all equally healthy and when would you use what i.e. cooking, baking, frying, dressing.

                                  1. re: MartyB

                                    Pure olive oil is very healthy. When a bottle says "light" it means in flavor or taste, NOT in calories. You would want to use extra virgin for salad dressings, or for drizzling, or to use as a dip for bread. I use light or regular olive oil for sauteeing. It's not good for stir frying or anything with super high heat b/c the oil burns at a low temperature.

                                    When you buy olive oil- read the ingredients. Recently I was in Shoprite, and a bottle marked olive oil was actually canola oil and olive oil. O & CO makes a delicious extra virgin olive oil that's delicious with a baguette. I'm not sure of the blend, but it's the only one that's kosher.

                                    Maybe your daughter can experiment with her baking. Many cookie recipes can be made with half margarine and half unsweetened applesauce. Quickbreads like banana loaf can be made with all applesauce. I've also made delicious corn muffins with applesauce instead of the butter. Earth Balance margarine (not kosher for passover) is a better sub for regular margarine for Shabbat baking because it's trans fat free. If I'm making something for a dairy meal, I always use real butter.

                                2. re: MartyB

                                  latest update is that mehadrin dairy will also have tub margarine for passover ast reportedly
                                  very fair pricing.it seems somehow they were able to convince the plant to do product for them.

                                  1. re: gleibler

                                    It's not the tub margarine that was scarce last year; it was the stick margarine that people use for baking. Tub margarine has too much water to use for baking.

                                    1. re: queenscook

                                      saw the margarine bars at shop rite in west orange from haolam-3.5 grams of trans fats

                                      1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                        The stores in Bergen County are reporting a shortage with only large block available in some stores.

                                        1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                          Grab a bunch of them and sell them on Ebay :) Better yet open a Kosher Lepesach margarine stand on 13th Ave in Boro Park a week before Pesach.

                                  2. I saw the 1 lb. bars in Gourmet Glatt yesterday and grabbed one before they run out. Only $2.99 (paid $4.99 and had to BEG for one in Supersol last year).

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: websterhall1994

                                      if anyone needs margarine and prefers blocks{which can be cut} to tubs i suggest you go out now and buy them now.mothers only had tubs and it all wnet to the shop rite franchise. haolom had one pound blocks in very limited supply and eden is also already out of 1 lb blocks. there is still some eden tubs around and rumor has it that mehadrin has tubs but it hasn't been confirmed

                                      1. re: gleibler

                                        I see so many different kosher for pesach items in the stores. Just what is so special/difficult about the production of margarine that makes it so difficult to produce in quantity on Pesach.

                                        1. re: MartyB

                                          This was already answered by Vallevin (to me) on Feb 20. See his/her answer above there. I would add that I think there may be some lessening in demand due to the whole transfat issue, which we have already mentioned.

                                          1. re: queenscook

                                            Found a nice link to the story of the "2008 Passover margarine shortage" in Wikipedia.

                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Pas...

                                            1. re: MartyB

                                              That was in the opening post of this thread. I do find it funny that someone felt compelled to create a Wiki on it.

                                              1. re: GilaB

                                                Haolam 1lb Block kosher for Passover Margarine Toronto $5.99

                                                1. re: sig

                                                  Haolam 1lb Block $3.79 in Shoprite. Regular price for the 1/4 lb stick package $2.79, so $1 more for the passover verson. Already half out.

                                                  1. re: njkosher

                                                    Rockland Kosher in Monsey has Haolam block for 4.29 and also has Eden.

                                                      1. re: vallevin

                                                        sorry, but did not see this till now and probably too late, but it was the Livingston, NJ Shoprite.

                                        2. re: websterhall1994

                                          Went to Gourmet Glatt, no brick margarine. Not such a Pesach Superstore after all.

                                        3. Went again to Gourmet Glatt (red peppers @99 cents a pound) and checked dairy case. Lots of kosher for pesach margarine (brick). This was the regular store I went to, not their Pesach store although I imagine it would be there too.

                                          1. Tel Aviv Grocery in Brooklyn had Haolam K-for-P stick margarine for $3.29. There was lots in the fridge case.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                              My daughter read this board, as we were having a terrible time finding pareve kosher for Passover stick margarine, We live near the CT border, and she and her family live in Brooklyn.

                                              She sent me your post, and my husband called Tel Aviv Grocery yesterday, along with a number of kosher groceries, etc., in the NY metro area, to no avail. . The man at Tel Aviv was rude, and told my husband that he had a case full. Everyone else said there was none this year. We shlepped there today, and there was none, not one single package, just the 1-lb blocks. He acted like he didn't even know what my husband was talking about. In the end, we had to get the 1-lb. block sof Haolam K for P margarine, and I have contacted friends all over the country who are kosher, and they could not get stick.

                                              We called either Haolam or Migdal, and were told they did not make any this year. The phone number is 1(718)965-1700.

                                              It might be a good idea to call them to complain, as this is making it very hard for anyone who does their own cooking and baking for Pesach. Maybe if they had enough complaints, next year would be better?

                                              1. re: Nana of 3

                                                Not so bad. It's easy enough to divide up the blocks into sticks. Compared to last year, when my only option in Southern California was tub margarine, being able to find anything in a rectangular shape is sheer bliss! The first year of the klp margarine crisis, the only thing that saved me was my mother unearthing a mother's KLP package in the freezer from the previous year.

                                                1. re: Nana of 3

                                                  I'd like to think that we have bigger issues to complain about than not being able to find stick margarine. It's not a big deal to cut up the 1lb block.

                                                  1. re: Nana of 3

                                                    Perhaps the man at the store wasn't being rude on purpose- I shop there often and their main language is Arabic. He may not have understood what exactly you were asking for.

                                                    And re the margarine- I saw the package which looked like sticks. Sticks or a 1lb block it's not so hard to cut up into what you need. Wrap the leftovers in plastic, and put it in the fridge.

                                                2. It turned out that I did not use any of my stick (bock) margarine this year. If I put it away in my freezer, would it be good next year?

                                                  Looking at it from a healthy diet point of view, I really don't want to use it after pesach since there are healthier choices out there. Who knows, next year there may be a shortage of even block margarine so it may be a valuable commodity

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: MartyB

                                                    Margarine keeps for many months in the freezer, and I would think it'd be find next year.

                                                    1. re: MartyB

                                                      It should be o.k. I'd suggest you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and put it into a sturdy zipper-style plastic bag, so it doesn't dry out or absorb odors.
                                                      p.j.

                                                      1. re: MartyB

                                                        From personal experience, I can say that it will still be good, quote unquote, for at least a couple of years.

                                                        I generally write myself notes every year at the end of pesach about what I already have in stock so I don't have to buy it next year, and what I overbought/underbought. I bought three blocks of margarine but only used two, so that goes in the notes. I'll use up the remainder making a huge batch of the matzo buttercrunch toffee to bring in to my (nonJewish) coworkers, who wait eagerly for it each year.

                                                      2. couple of things:

                                                        First, I save my margarine from year to year. It does fine

                                                        Second, after I got over the shock of a second consecutive year without Mother's, I went out and bought several lbs of Haolam blocks. I marked them, quartered them, and dragged out my trusty kitchen scale. Not as convenient as stick margarine, but just as functional. I'm happy to report that I think the Haolam worked just as well as the Mother's (that is to say, like KofP margarine) and the flavor was a bit better and more buttery. I wish it came in sticks, but I will have no problem using this brand again in the future.

                                                        1. Good news! I was at Gourmet Glatt and I am happy to inform that not only is there no margarine shortage, but this year they were able to get over the technical difficulties of, in a non-chametz manner, split the 1 lb margarine bricks into 1/4 lb sticks and wrap and package them. Way to go "Mother's"!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: MartyB

                                                            They have the Mothers' stick margarine at Brach's too. Strangely, my mom called to ask them if they had it in stock, they said "no" she asked if they were going to get it in at all this year and they said "no, just tub margarine." Less than 15 minutes later, I was in the store and they were unloading CASES of stick margarine!

                                                            1. re: websterhall1994

                                                              Yeah, I saw this stuff already a month ago. I still feel it's about the worst stuff for you healthwise, and I have tried to get as many transfats out of what I cook and bake. Look for recipes that use oil rather than margarine for more healthy meals . . . especially important when so much of what we eat over Pesach has the potential to be so heavy, and often unhealthy.

                                                              1. re: websterhall1994

                                                                All my visits to Brachs did not yield any stick margarine as well as fruitless search at Supersol(Seasons).. Gourmet had it for most of the pre-pesach shopping period. Today they ran out and I only saw the tubs and bricks.