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Which vegetables may be eaten on Passover?

Which vegetables may be eaten on Passover?



This question comes up in my house every year: Which vegetables can be eaten on Passover?

My mother only used vegetables that grew under the ground, but my father's family eats all sorts of vegetables. Please help us do the right thing!


It is always important to differentiate between the law, and family and communal traditions and customs. This is especially true regarding Passover, when such customs and traditions abound.

Forbidden on Passover are: wheat, barley, oat, spelt or rye flour which have come in contact with water or moisture, and were not fully baked within eighteen minutes from the moment of contact.

(In addition, the mediaeval Ashkenazi sages banned the eating of legumes, such as corn and rice, on Passover, because their textures are similar to the five abovementioned grains. These are known as kitniyot. If you are Sephardic, contact the rabbi of your community to find out the custom which your particular community follows with regard to kitniyot.)

Anything else may be eaten on Passover.

Practically however, in order to be certain that no chametz has been mixed in to a particular food item, as well as to ensure that it wasn't processed using the same utensils as chametz foods, we only eat foods with a reliable Kosher for Passover certification.

Fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables, however, do not require certification.

Now let's move on to some of the customs and traditions in this area:

Some have the custom to peel all the fruits and vegetables that they eat on Passover, out of concern that the skin may have come in contact with chametz. Produce which cannot be peeled, such as berries or peppers, are not eaten by these people.

There are also a few vegetables -- such as garlic, ginger, and radish -- which certain communities don't eat for various reasons. Inquire of your parents and/or your rabbi for specifics regarding the custom of your particular ancestors.

I am not aware of any custom which only permits eating vegetables which grow beneath the ground.

I hope this helps.

Have a Happy and Kosher Passover!

Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson

Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson is a writer who lives with his family in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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Discussion (23)
October 19, 2015
Wheat in itself is not Chametz; only when it comes into contact with water do the problems begin. Most wheat nowadays is tempered, which makes it forbidden to consume on Passover.
For a detailed explanation of the tempering process and its practical ramifications, see the article: The Tempering of Grains and its chometz and hafrashas challah implications, available on the OU website.
Shaul Wolf
September 20, 2015
Kosher for passover?
"Forbidden on Passover are: wheat, barley, oat, spelt or rye flour which have come in contact with water or moisture, and were not fully baked within eighteen minutes from the moment of contact"

So if I store wheatberries that are harvested and processed raw in a dry system and we know the wheatberries themselves aren't able to ferment,rise etc... are wheatberries by definition ok?

Also, 100 yrs ago we didn't have manischewitz and such to mass produce our passover indeed wouldn't it be preferable if one could to make the matzah ourselves via processing the wheat quickly and getting it into a preheated oven swiftly before 18 mins as prescribed? That would mean my house and utensiles would be kashered...then I would break out fresh wheatberries and process it immediately prior to Passover. (my house is usually kashered 24-72 hrs prior to passover).

So the question again is: Is it permissible to store the grains in their whole non processed form in our homes?
paul cilia
April 12, 2015
To Fran
Yes, it is. staff
April 3, 2015
is cauliflower kosher for passover
March 31, 2015
Vegetables below ground
My mother used to teach in the temple school and what she taught was that the phrase "vegetables that grow below ground" was a way to distinguish between vegetables like potato and carrot from legumes which all grow above ground. It's a way to remember what was allowed and what wasn't. Also allowed were "leafy vegetables" so things like broccoli and cauliflower which grow above ground were allowed and could be distinguished, again, from legumes which aren't leafy. She found that most people didn't know what a legume was so it is easier to remember "leafy vegetables and vegetables that grow below ground" are ok but everything else is not.
Clifton, NJ
March 30, 2015
I am aware that "kitniyot" is frequebtly translated as "legumes", but this might be confusing to the lay reader with an educaton in biology. From a biological pespective, kitniyot are NOT only legumes, because legumes refers to a particular group of plants which fix nitrogen with their roots. All legumes are kitniyot, but all kitniyot are not legumes.
March 24, 2015
Re: Buckwheat
There are indeed contemporary halachic authorities that permit quinoa on Passover (see this link for more about this). One reason buckwheat is still not acceptable is because it is grown in close proximity to regular wheat and some grains can possibly get mixed.
Eliezer Zalmanov
March 23, 2015
I understand that quinoa is kosher for Passover because it is the seed of a plant and not the grain. By the same reasoning does that mean that buckwheat is acceptable for Passover as it is not a grass but the seed of a fruit plant related to rhubarb.
April 14, 2014
For Andrew concerning spices
If you're talking about products off the shelf, all of these would require supervision for Passover, to ensure that no chametz products were produced on the same line, or may have otherwise contaminated the spices.
Tzvi Freeman
April 14, 2014
Are the following (fresh or dried) spices allowed the be used during Passover:

Thank you in advance