As part of the Passover Seder, we eat a bitter herb, to remind us of the bitter times our people have faced.
Many use horseradish for this ritual. I grew up eating Manischewitz brand ground horseradish from a jar at our Seders, with no concept whatsoever of where this pungent herb came from. In fact, horseradish is a root –you can buy it from the store (most good health food stores carry it this time of year), and is about the size of a carrot, though light brown, reminiscent of the color of a parsnip.
These days, I make my own maror from scratch; it is a breeze to prepare, though slightly dangerous, so beware!
- 1 horseradish root (about 4 inches), peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Combine all ingredients in food processor
- Pulse until horseradish is well ground
- Carefully remove lid; do not inhale or smell mixture, as it may burn eyes and nasal passages
- Store in a glass container
The week after next, I will go into my son’s classroom and assist the third graders in making 26 batches of charoset–enough to feed more than 100 people. The children will be preparing this dish for the class Sedar, in which their families will partake. During my time in the classroom, the children and I will also make the maror for their Sedar. No Manischewitz for these little ones –they will not grow up thinking that horseradish sprouts in a bottle!
Have any of you made your own horseradish sauce or maror? Seen an actual horseradish root? Please leave your horseradish trials, tribulations, knowledge or lack thereof in the comments section!