Look, this isn’t going to be one of those rants about corn syrup. Every person who’s ever had to keep kosher for Passover has at some point wondered why things with corn syrup in them—which is to say, things made with corn (which, if you believe Michael Pollan, is pretty much everything)—are not Pesadik. Well, because corn has been known to go into the making of bread, and corn used to be tilled in the same soil as wheat, which also made bread, and bread, and bread-like things, should not be eaten during Passover. Because what you are supposed to be doing is re-enacting—indeed, you are re-living—the experience of those Jews who could not wait for their dough to rise and so ate matzoh while fleeing from slavery, etc., etc. If you want to throw corn into the prohibited pile along with bread and pizza and the like, then OK. Anything to get Coca-Cola to produce Coke with real sugar once a year.
Cookie dough—normal cookie dough, not special, kosher-for-Passover cookie dough—is another matter, though. It is of course chametz, since it invariably contains flour or wheat or something used to make cookies, and said materials invariably were made wet for over the 18-minute limit. To be honest, most cookie dough, particularly of the store-bought variety, probably contains corn syrup, too. And don’t tell me about corn syrup—I know all about corn syrup.
But, c’mon! Think this through! Cookie dough should be kosher for Passover. It is the very definition of what ought to be kosher for Passover: would-be bread that specifically hasn’t been baked. It is the precise sort of thing you would grab for a nosh if you didn’t have enough time to prepare properly—because, maybe, oh, I dunno, you were fleeing Pharaoh! Eating cookie dough on Passover? It shouldn’t just be countenanced—it should be encouraged! We should be slathering it onto the afikomen for dessert!
This is all by way of saying I had some cookie dough ice cream last night. And you should know I made a sacrifice in doing so: I specifically and deliberately did not eat cookies-and-cream ice cream—which I prefer!—because, after all, it’s Passover, and once we were slaves, and now we are free.
This article was originally published on April 1, 2010.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.