Passover 2021

LIers pour into Gourmet Glatt as Pesach nears


Just as Times Square is America’s hot spot on secular New Year’s eve, kosher supermarkets like Gourmet Glatt are where the action is in the run-up to Pesach.

Since they started “turning over” their stores at Purim — making shelves pesadik and stocking everything from Passover’s unique cereals to the yearned-for yellow-capped bottles of Coke — the crowds have come, leaving with overflowing wagons and likely planning return trips before the holiday.

For many Five Towners, a trip to Gourmet Glatt’s stores in Cedarhurst and Woodmere are weekly pre-Shabbos rituals when they both stock up their kitchens and catch up with friends and neighborhood acquaintances. For Passover, Gourmet Glatt and other kosher markets draw kosher-minded shoppers from far beyond the stores’ hometowns.

Shoppers, haunted by last year’s pandemic-induced scarcities, were shopping earlier and in a more robust style than in the past, store manager Ash Cohn told The Jewish Star. But he assured that although some items always sell out quickly (shmurah oat matzah, for instance), the store will be well stocked into the holiday. During visits on Sunday, products kept disappearing off white-paper-lined shelves, only to be restocked, again and again.

After last year’s Pesach when most seders were small at-home affairs, now people are traveling again.

“This year we are shipping triple the amount of food to Florida than any other year, it’s the most we’ve ever sent,” Cohn said.

Rabbi Yehoshua Feldman, in charge of the meat department, said a continuing trend is a return to less upscale cuts. “Chuck steak, marrow bones, flanken roasts are hugely popular right now,” he said, as shoppers return to the comfort of dishes their parents and grandparents made.

“Although,” he added, “when a customer asks for the brisket like their mother used to make, they’ll often add that it was a little dry. So I tell them to buy second cut brisket which has a bit more fat and flavor.” The demand for both first cut and second cut have about evened out, he said, and the prices have too.

Thin chicken cutlets are very popular, he said, and lovers of beef liver will rejoice to know that he has an abundant stock of pre-kashered liver.

The matzah aisle is a dependably busy place — Cohn said Gourmet Glatt has by far the biggest selection of matzah in town, both hand and machine made. The most popular brands have consistently been Shatzer and Kerestir and there’s been a big increase in demand for whole wheat, spelt and oat matzah, he said. Hand-made oat matzah flies off the shelf as fast as they’re delivered, he added.

With the many matzah brands they carry, there’s always more they can add. On Sunday, shelves were stocked with Satmar shmurah matzah for the first time.

Space here precludes a comprehensive roundup of all departments, but it can be reported that diligent shoppers will find surprises throughout the store. The Rebbe’s Choice, a popular herring brand whose motto is “heimish meets high end,” has several new flavors specifically for Passover. Quinoa, especially the triple-colored and the red varieties, have become huge Pesach sellers. And sales of shelf-stable almond milk has been increasing year after year.

A bold new sign hanging over the produce department boasts “the freshest produce in town.” Shoppers are consistently delighted by the high-quality and variety that’s offered.

Cohn’s tip for gluten-free eaters: stock up now on the soup mandel, the pesadik type are much better than they used to be! Lovers of true-sugar Coke know that now’s the time to stock up on the bottler’s corn-syrup-free pesadik run, designated by yellow caps.

And kids know this as an absolute truth: the holiday’s not really here until the Passover breakfast cereal is in the house! Gourmet Glatt has a full selection of their favorites.