thank you, whole foods

by marjorieingall on December 14, 2011

We appreciate the sentiment and accept your slightly confused but well-intentioned holiday wishes.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

tanita December 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Okay, that is just sadly hilarious.
Dreidels for Passover this year?

unJew December 22, 2011 at 7:50 am

for us Non Jews, could you explain the hilarity? Or is this for Jews only?

Betsy S December 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

OK I’ll take a crack at it:

Matzoh is unleavened bread, eaten during Passover to commemorate the Exodus. Since we eat no leavened food for 8 days, matzoh and matzoh meal are very heavily featured. But outside of Passover, it’s not eaten much (except for a little bit for Matzoh balls which are seriously yummy, and you can use a little matzoh meal in your latkes if you roll that way). Matzoh by itself has a strong resemblance to the boxes in which it is packed. Some people like it to nibble on, no rule against it, but you’d never see it at a festive meal during the rest of the year. Hmm, maybe a little bit analogous to seeing a store put out all the Easter Egg dying kits for Christmas? If Christians had to eat Easter Eggs every day during Lent, that is….

More traditional for Hanukkah are latkes, which are potato pancakes fried in oil, sufganiot (jelly donuts), and chocolate gelt, coins. Some people eat dairy foods like cheesecake, blintzes (stuffed pancakes) or kugel (noodle pudding).

To give Whole Foods a little credit, their main website has some more appropriate ideas:
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays/recipes/hanukkah.php
(although again with the matzoh!)
(Your Yum May Vary)

explanation December 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

Matzos are unleavened bread, which means that they are suitable for Passover (an important holiday that commemorates the Jews being freed from slavery in Egypt, when they left so quickly they couldn’t wait for the bread to rise — hence, no leavened bread is eaten). Matzos aren’t eaten very often outside of Passover, because other kinds of bread are permitted. They aren’t a Hanukkah food at all.

It would be like showcasing pastel-colored eggs for Christmas, or selling advent calendars for the fourth of July.

Chad December 22, 2011 at 11:12 am

I thought the problem with the picture was matzo on Hanukkah. Matzo is a Passover food.

Passover is about sacrifice. Hanukkah is about celebrating oil lasting 8 days (which is a different sacrifice).

I’m not Jewish, so correct me if I’m wrong.

Nancy December 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I use matzo meal in my latkes, and you could conceivably fry matzo (matzo brei anyone?!).

unJew December 23, 2011 at 5:52 am

Thanks for the education

Truly Scrumptious December 28, 2011 at 9:36 am

I appreciate the humor in this. I just want to point out that this sign says more about that particular sign-maker (and maybe that individual store’s gentile-ness) than the chain as a whole. Each store employs its own sign-maker, who has a fair amount of creative license when making these signs.

Truly Scrumptious December 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

And now that I think about it, it’s not even the sign-maker’s faux-pas. The grocery buyer and/or the grocery regional director made this mistake in purchasing large quantities of matzo meal for an end-cap display. So one of them made that decision, and the sign-maker was just asked to make a Hanukkah sign to put the end-cap.

marjorieingall December 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

Sounds like it was a national issue. Similar Hanukah-matzah displays were photographed in CA and DC-area Whole Foods stores.

Truly Scrumptious December 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

If it’s chain-wide, then actually it may be Streit’s fault. Streit’s probably offered a deep discount and/or paid for end-cap displays of their matzo products. They probably were well aware it was a bit, uh, unseasonal, but wanted to promote their products anyway.

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