Is Quinoa Considered Chometz?

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    You can’t make sushi on Pesah because there is no Kosher l’Pesah nori or Mirin.


    You can have naruto roll! It’s fish wrapped in cucumber.


    Sam2 thank you a lot. Actually I heard they also prepared and ate acorn bread all over Europe in bad times and during famines, but that it’s very bitter and the tannines have unpleasant side-effect. Naturally this put me off when I first heard about the native americans acorn bread, but I was told that tannin content varies and is typically lower in american species than in european ones, and most important this is why the acorns must be soaked for weeks in a bucket, sort of like olives. Then they are ground and the flour can be used. I have never eaten, but I am told that it’s not disgusting and not bitter at all, but not very good either. I don’t think I would be very interested in acorn bread year-round and much less on Pesach, but the question is interesting. I think that if anyone was eating acorn bread on Pesach, the situation must have been bad and likely, bad enough that kitniyot were allowed for everyone.

    With quinoa I see various problems. First, we need to avoid grain seeds, and that is bad enough but I think by checking carefully is solved. The second and to me much more worrisome is that we have no clue if we have dust which contains chometz and/or grain flour (even worse, because we’d create chometz during Pesach while cooking the quinoa) and the Sefaradi method to check it, is a problem, because with rice or lentils etc. the three checks are good to ensure we only pick the rice seeds and leave any dust behind, but how to do that with tiny quinoa seeds? We have to take a handful and no matter how careful we are, I don’t think this is a reliable check. This problem I think can be overcome only by certified quinoa that has been nowhere near grain or chometz, and it should be certified by someone very trustworthy. At this point for Sefaradim it’s fair enough, but it seems to me it’s not trivially permissible to Askhenazim arguing that it’s new; exactly because it’s new, most people don’t have a minhag of eating it and need to rely on authoritative opinions, but it takes time and it takes consensus. May be we can also consider how long it took from cocoa and coffee becoming known, to them being considered KLP.


    Except that’s not how halacha works. Something is permissible until you assur it, it’s not assur until you mattir it.

    R’ Moshe even wrote that you do not add things to kitniyos. I still can’t fathom this need to make everything assur to eat on Pesach.


    Truthsharer it’s not my place to teach so I’ll be silent, but your comments in regards to respected poskim – many banned corn – and entire movements in Orthodox Judaism (may I mention gebrochts?) and your attempt to make unlearned readers think respected poskim are R”L adding to the Torah and stating “it’s not how halacha works”, disturb me.

    I am sure you realize that for generations, Pesach was a great sacrifice for people. Vegetables that don’t have a thick skin are very difficult to clean, if one is living in a hut. Milk and dairy require a pesachdig dairy pot, and many did not even have one. Koshering year-round pots was impossible. Even obviously permissible food, such as nuts, were not always available or affordable as produce availability greatly varied from year to year.

    Our ancestors did not save on Yom Tov expenses but still could only afford what they could (and many things were not out there for sale, not for any money), they cleaned (can you imagine cleaning for Pesach without the modern detergents, without disposable cloths, without a faucet inside the home), they baked matza (can you imagine?) and yet, those who so were told, refrained from potatoes.

    If you eat quinoa and corn, good for you and enjoy them on Pesach as well as year-round. If you are sefaradi and eat kitniyot, enjoy your KLP rice and beans (if you actually had to check it like sefaradim had to do until a few decades ago, it would become much less tasty). If you can’t fathom other people’s respect for their ancestors and if you can’t fathom other people’s feeling that rushing it (again, how long it took for a consensus on cocoa and coffee?) in order to cook a quinoa dish is unneeded, given that we already have all sort of products available for Pesach, we live in a modern house where eating vegetables is a hassle but for most vegetables is fully doable, we have KLP bottles of all sort of drinks (not just water) and a faucet whose water we don’t need to be afraid a piece of bread fell, or was thrown, into (differently from a well, if I may say), if you can’t fathom any of that, it seems to me the problem is not kitniyot and is not quinoa and it’s not chumrot either.

    Finally, quinoa is a dull food and I wonder how many among us find it tasty and have a desire for it year-round. Sure, it’s definitely edible, I don’t mind it at all and sometimes I buy and cook, but it’s not something one would make an effort and sustain expense to acquire and cook for the king if the king came to dinner, is it. One is forced to wonder whether people are crazy about quinoa and have asked their Rabbi if it is permissible and have greatly rejoiced when told is it, or if people don’t really care for quinoa and are only eating it on Pesach to make a point.



    Finally, quinoa is a dull food and I wonder how many among us find it tasty and have a desire for it year-round.

    Our family does eat it year round, and I know several others who do so as well.


    R’ Moshe even wrote that you do not add things to kitniyos.

    Really? As a kid in the 1960s, I remember my mother using peanut oil. I remember eating peanuts on Pesach as well. Try now and find KFP peanut oil; I think the OU stopped its hashgacha on it years ago. Did peanuts suddenly become kitniyot?


    Guys – its a machlokes. Simple as that. Ask your Rov.

    (And there’s definitely no need to disparage anyone else here.)


    Thank you takahmamash, please post recipes, we always need some non-chometz ideas for the last few days before Pesach 🙂

    With the wide availability and affordable price of olive oil, I think the interest for certifying peanut oil for Pesach has faded. Do you use it for something in particular, whose taste is diminished by sostitution? As I am sure the question shows, I am not used to cooking with peanut oil.


    When did I say anything negative? For corn, I explained why it is considered kitniyos. For peanuts, I have no idea why it’s considered kitniyos, since as the previous poster attested it was widely eaten. I think that’s why people are making a fusswith quinoa, they don’t want it to go the way of peanuts.


    The status of oil is different from the status of seeds. This also happens with kitniyot (such as sunflower seeds).


    daniella, I don’t beleive that dust is and issue here. I have not sifted (npi) through all the sources on kitniyos, but I have seen many and cross contamination with dust does not come up. It is noted in halochos of the flour grinding, and matzo baking. From what i have seen with my own inquisitive eyes, there is more chometz in the matzo than in the kitniyos. Some cases: In a major Brooklyn bakery, I saw florescent bulbs in the stair wells and the work areas coated with white grunge. In a very famous family operation, they used a professional dough docker (rheddler) to perforate the matzo. They cleaned it by running it over a motorized wire brush wheel, spraying whatever may have been on the rheddler into the work room. In Jerusalem, I saw a major matzo op, using alternate tables and multiple doughs to minimize labor down time. Between tables, the crew wiped down their stainless rolling pins, but did not wash their hands. And there are the famous stories of the Bais Halevi and his matzo baking precautions. So enjoy your machine maztos, just watch out for the fingertip, hands, arms, bone fragments or other unintentional inclusions of human body parts.



    No one says that our ancestors had it easy on Pesach. However, that doesn’t mean we should make it hard on ourselves.


    Finally, quinoa is a dull food and I wonder how many among us find it tasty and have a desire for it year-round”

    We do, and we love it. I didn’t like it the first time I had some – it is somewhat of an acquired taste – but when prepared according to simple package directions, it is delicious. We use the red quinoa sometimes, but mostly the plain regular kind. I like to add in a packet of onion soup mix to the water, at times, and a little paprika. It is really good, and a complete protein, so it is extra healthful, as well.


    Potatoes are a dull food and I wonder how many among us find them tasty and have a desire for them year-round.

    Oh, wait a minute. There are lots of tasty ways to prepare potatoes. Never mind.


    The business of kitniyot has been far overblown. The joke in my home is that it’s good the Hayei Adam didn’t succeed in assuring potatoes, since then Ashkenazim would starve on Pesah.

    Seriously, though, I actually stock up on Oberlander cookies/rainbow cake, coca cola, pasta, and walnut oil for Pesah since walnut oil year-round is ridiculously expensive (Pesah walnut oil is cheap) and it goes well in vinaigrettes; Pesah coca cola is made with real sugar and is a far superior product. And I like the novelty and convenience of making a shehakol on cake.

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