An ancient matzo sandwich for Passover

15th Century Haggadah

Joel ben Simeon. Haggadah. Tempera, ink, and gold leaf on parchment. Italian c. 1454. Courtesy: Library JTS/Metropolitan Museum

Undoubtedly, matzo is the culinary star of the Passover Seder, or meal, with supporting actor roles doled out to bitter herbs, shank bones, salt water, charoset, and a few other dishes.

But there’s an unlikely recipe that also surfaces in the Passover ritual – a kosher-for-Passover sandwich made of paschal lamb and bitter herbs set between two pieces of matzo.

That sandwich, according to rabbinic tradition, dates back to the first century (BCE) sage, Hillel. If Hillel truly pioneered such a delectable configuration, he would have done so some 18 centuries before the fourth Earl of Sandwich (John Montagu), who is often credited with inventing the sandwich in 1762 to avoid leaving the gambling table.

Read more in the Christian Science Monitor.


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