The Biblical Atkins Diet

2010 April 1
by admin

A Passover Story

The Scene: A 50’s living room in modern American suburbia.  On a comfortable chair, Daddy Chaimyankle rests, smoking a pipe and looking angsty.  At his side, Little Johnny plays with a toy train, bored and quizzical.

Little Johnny: Why are all my Jewish friends cranky in late March?

Daddy Chaimyankle: Well, little Johnny, it’s probably because all of them are simultaneously in withdrawal from the most palatable forms of alcohol, and massively constipated from repeated consumption of matzo – a traditional “cracker” that resembles parchment paper infused with concrete!  Except that it has less flavor!  Really!  Seriously, little Johnny, it’s because of that quirky Hebrew tradition – Passover – that your daddy and all of his companions are forbidden to consume bread or beer. Now get out of my way, you little twit, and pass me my kosher wine before I get violent!

If you couldn’t guess, I am well into Passover season here, and feeling the lack of both bread and beer quite acutely.  Not only the bread – but all those things the Bible deems bread-related, pretzels, pancakes, anything with high-fructose corn syrup, beer, and anything fun to eat.  All of this – to commemorate the haste in which the ancient Israelites departed Egypt.  So rapidly, in fact, that they baked their bread before it had a chance to leaven, and henceforth, all Jewish people through the millennia now suffer a biblical version of the Atkins diet – except that we can’t even eat bacon.

For me – this is especially difficult, as one of the lights of my life is good beer.  But, as this Passover – one must make do somehow.

Enough self pity and on to the meat, or rather the starch,  of this entry.  Because the Passover story refers only to grains that are leavened, thus prohibiting beer, as well as bread and all of its yeasty companions, there are some, shall we say, loopholes, which allow us members of the tribe to imbibe without violating Passover.  Since it is that combination of grain and yeast that is prohibited, by avoiding these things, it is possible to get a buzz and still keep kosher.  Here are my humble suggestions:

Beverage Recommendations Fermentable Base Taste After-effect
Wine: Our Daily Red Grapes Nice – but a little sweet.  Beer is better. Head-throbbing, light sensitivity, mouth coating.
Mead: Redstone Mead Honey Surprisingly dry for a honey-based beverage.  Beer is better. Head swimming, teeth aching, hands trembling.
Tequila: Cazadores Reposado cactus Surprisingly good.  Smoky, hint of sweetness.  Beer is better. Waking up in a sombrero.  Nausea.
Gluten Free Beer RedBridge Beer Various – often sorghum I don’t have the courage to try it.  Ordinary beer is probably better. Guilt.  Horrible, Horrible guilt.
Potato Vodka: Luksusowa potatoes Sweet, solvent-like goodness.  Beer is better. Babushka staining, trembles, staggers, Perestroika
sake Gekkeikan rice Acetone, complex, slightly sour.  Beer is better. Obsessive Judo mastery.
Plum Brandy Zwack Slivovitz Plums Plum fire.  Beer is better. Davening.  Kvetching.  Headache, oy vey the headache!
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