Kosher L’Pesach Grains

Home Forums Yom Tov Pesach Kosher L’Pesach Grains

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • Author
  • #591182

    I have heard that Quinoa, which is delicious and acts and looks like a grain, is actually not chometz, because it is really a grass. If you can be sure that no grains have been mixed in, you can eat it during Passover.

    Anyone know the details of this?


    They sold quinona in Kosher stores in my area last Pesach


    A sheilah was asked by my Rav last Pesach and the answer was it was not considered a grain. Maybe because it is something new and not part of shivas haminim.


    It’s certainly NOT chometz, the question is if it is kitniyos.


    we also used it last yr…it’s in the grass family. quinoa tabboule, yum!


    You have to be careful with quinoa, as some brands are NOT acceptable for Pesach. I think that Trader Joe’s sells one that is (American Harvest?)and the reason for the problem (so I was told) is that some quinoa is grown near grain fields, and there is a fear of cross pollination or something, so that mamesh a grain of wheat could get mixed in. Since chometz is not botul b’shishim or anything else, one needs to get quinoa that is only grown by itself, or with other kosher for Pesach vegetables.


    CYLOR. I know my local rav (reputable, just want to stay “anon”) isn’t keen on it for Pesach.


    To aries2756,

    What does shivas haminim have to do with chometz? I am pretty sure figs, dates, olives, grapes and pomegranetes are all permitted and widley used by all, on pesach. On the other hand, oat, rye and spelt can become chometz gomur even though they are not part of the shivas haminim.

    anon for this

    Jose, aries may have meant to write “five grains” rather than shivas haminim. The five grains–wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt–all generally require al hamichyah or bircas hamazon as a bracha acharonah. And yes, all five grains can become chometz.


    I believe quinoa is in the berry family.

    Also, just to nitpick, grains are kosher for Pesach. You just can’t make them chametz.



    Quinoa, a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a grass. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds.


    Truthsharer, you are right about the obvious. And I also have heard that many rabbanim are not keen(wah!!!!) on quinoa 🙁 for Pesach because it resembles chometzdig or kitniyos grains. I have never had it for Pesach myself, but if my Vaad approves its use and the local stores under the Vaad sell it (prepared), I would consider getting it, because it IS nice to have an alternative to farfel, and it IS very healthful.


    from the OU website:

    Rabbinical authorities disagree as to whether or not quinoa, the seeds of the goosefoot plant, is kitniyos. Those who permit it do so because it was not known to Jews when it became accepted to refrain from kitniyos. Others disagree and argue that it should be prohibited because it resembles other forms of kitniyos. Even if you follow the lenient opinion, we recommend sifting through your quinoa before using it to ensure that there are no chametz grains mixed in.


    All grains are grasses. Quinoa is not a grass. Last year I surveyed pesach lists all over the world and found that almost all permitted quinoa. However, it has to be processed in a factory that does not process chametz so that would eliminate most brands of quinoa although the rest of the year it would be kosher without a hechsher as it is a raw agricultural product. The Ancient Harvest brand carried in many health food stores with a Half Moon K was processed in a factory that did not process chametz and hopefully that will continue to be the case.


    from the Star-K website:

    Quinoa was determined to be Kosher L’Pesach. It is not related to the chameishes minei dagan-five types of grain products, nor to millet or rice. Quinoa is a member of the “goose foot” family, which includes sugar beets and beet root. The Star-K tested quinoa to see if it would rise. The result was as Chazal termed, sirchon; the quinoa decayed – it did not rise. Furthermore, quinoa does not grow in the vicinity of chometz, nor does its growth resemble kitniyos (see Igros Moshe O.C. Vol. 3, 63). Therefore, quinoa is 100% Kosher L’Pesach. It is recommended to purchase from manufacturers that do not process Chometz grains. Consumers are urged to carefully check grains before Pesach for extraneous matter.



    Rabbi Blech in Know thy Beans Kitniyos in the Modern World quotes the following characteristics of kitniot that are listed by authorities: cooked grains which may be confused with chometz, grown in fields adjacent to chometz, and ground into flour and confused with chometz. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (in Igros Moshe O”Ch III:63) said that there is no Halachic basis to extend this to new foods. The Chicago Rabbinical Council accepts the use of quinoa that has not come in contact with chometz on the basis of this ruling. (See also


    from the CRC website (linked to in earlier post):

    This last caveat poses a particular concern for amaranth and quinoa, as these small seeds are often packaged on the same equipment as other small grains such as wheat, barley and oats, which means that they can only be used after being carefully checked that no chametz grains are mixed in. In practice, most consumers are not familiar enough with the difference between one grain and the next to be able to perform this check, and as a result they cannot use them for Pesach.

    This year, we were once again able to confirm that the whole grain quinoa sold under the Ancient Harvest and Trader Joe brand names, and bearing the KOAOA/Half- Moon K kosher certification, are produced in plants which do not package chametz grains, and are therefore suitable for Pesach use. [This does not apply to the quinoa flour or flakes]. It is worth verifying this information before each Pesach to make sure the information remains accurate.


    YW-Mod80, Amaranth has the additional property of being eaten primarily for its greens, not its seeds. That makes its seeds somewhat safer for Pesach.


    Thanks, Mod 80, for your extensive research!

    BTW, what is amaranth? I never heard of it.


    as far as i know, its a contraction of “american ants”, spoken by someone with a lisp



    The Amaranthaceae are a large family of plants, about 100 genera and a couple thousand species, in the super-family of the Magnoloids. The genus Amaranth includes dozens of species which exhibit wide variability in form and color. You may be familiar with several species referred to as pigweed.

    Botanically, morphologically and genetically they are very distant from the grasses – which include all chametz. They are very slightly closer to the legumes. If we were talking about animals the distance between amaranth and chametz would be, say, dogs to sea urchins – both animals with circulatory systems. Amaranth to peanuts would be cockapoos to cockatoos – same number of limbs, both have a backbone.

    The species which are normally eaten are native to Central and South America but are now cultivated all over the world. The leaves are normally eaten although the seeds have become popular again due to their high protein content – particularly rich in lysine – and ease of digestion for celiac disease sufferers.


    Mod-80, according to the Wiki:

    The word comes from the Greek amarantos (????????? or ?????????) the “one that does not wither,” or the never-fading (flower).


    I think I remember getting a flower called by that name in a bouquet. I’ll stick to the farfel.


    Moderator 80,

    Thank you for those sources!

    I have a question regarding one of them. It quotes Rav Moshe as saying that “foods which were not consumed by Jews at the time the minhag of kitnios began are not forbidden on Pesach.” In that case, corn (maize), being native to the New World only, would be permitted on Pesach because the kitniyot prohibition predates Columbus by a few centuries. Does that mean I can enjoy corn and corn derivatives on Pesach?


    I have had cookies made out of amaranth. They were delicious.


    charliehall, good question

    i have no idea why corn should be kitnios based on that one very short excerpt from Rav Feinstein, tz’l, but of course it is, that’s the Halachah.

    when was the takanh of kitnios begun?

    this is from wikipedia:

    After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries through trade. Its use spread to the rest of the world.


    i found this:

    Based upon these considerations, the custom of the Jews in Europe (Ashkenazim) developed to avoid eating Kitniyos, and this custom was codified by the Ramah (ibid.).

    Would this be after the late 15th century?

    Perhaps the Minhag developed over a century or so?


    corn and peanuts are interesting cases.

    Peanuts should not be kitniyos and people remember eating them in the olden days and even having KLP peanut butter in the US into the 80’s.

    Corn is our maize, maize is the staple crop. In Europe, maize was wheat, and maize was a no-no.

    Due to the word confusion, corn is kitniyos, but like many things, it really shouldn’t.


    last summer, we grew our own buckwheat (kasha) — it’s a flower and not a seed or grain. Where does it fall in the chometz hierarchy?


    Mod-80, Amaranth would have been unknown among the Ashkenazim at that time. The Spanish Catholics had done a pretty thorough job of suppressing its cultivation and use.


    Moderator 80,


    A quick Google search found the following by Gail Lichtman in the Jerusalem Post:

    “According to Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin, in his authoritative work Moadim Behalacha, the earliest reference in halachic literature prohibiting eating kitniyot during Pessah is found in the 13th-century book Sefer Mitzvot Katan (“A Little Book of Mitzvot”) by the Ashkenazi sage Rabbi Yitzhak Ben-Yosef of Corbeil. Rabbi Yitzhak refers to the prohibition, not as a new custom but as one “from the times of previous sages,” indicating that the custom was already well-established in his time. “

    This was long before Columbus so I don’t see how maize could have been part of that original prohibition unless the Ashkenazic sages had nevuah to prohibit something no Jew had ever seen!


    truthshare youve got the terms backwards

    maize is the specific yellow species that we mistakenly called “corn”

    corn is a general term meaning “grains”


    from wikipedia:

    Corn is a term for some cereal crops or the corresponding grain, such as:

    * Maize

    * Wheat

    * Barley


    truthsharer, let me see if I can parse that a little more clearly…

    • “Corn” is a term for the local staple grain crop. The 19th Century British “Corn Laws” were about all wheat, oats, rye and barley, not maize.
    • What we call “corn” in the United States is a grain properly known as maize. In earlier days it was called “Indian corn” which was shortened to “corn” in popular usage.
    • EDITED


    The Mordechai is the earliest source of the minhag which was not yet widely established in his days (d. 1298). The Rosh, his contemporary did not hold of it.

    One reason given is that kitniyos could be ground into flour resembling the 5 grains. Therefore corn SHOULD be included. Peanuts are a legume, the original minhag was not to eat legumes, so it SHOULD also be included.


    Corn being able to be ground into flour, could mistakenly be mixed in with wheat, and mamesh made into chametz, so it was added to the forbidden list. At one time, so were POTATOES, because of the potato starch looking almost exactly like flour. But it did not last long, because it was SUCH a staple item in such abundant and cheap supply, that the people would have rebelled had it been assered. They would have had nothing to eat on Pesach. At least, this is what I was told.

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • The topic ‘Kosher L’Pesach Grains’ is closed to new replies.