top of page

Passover Tables Around the World

Passover tables generally include ceremonial foods representing the Passover sacrifice, the bitterness of slavery, the bread of affliction, and the sweetness of redemption. But communities around the world have used diverse foods and displayed them in diverse ways. This page presents a list of these foods, diagrams of Passover tables, and a slide show of Jews around the world celebrating Passover.

If you don't have the usual symbolic foods, you can turn to international traditions for alternatives. No horseradish for maror? You can use celery bottom or radish, which were used in Jewish communities in Greece and Uzbekistan. If you don't have parsley, then potato (Europe) or zucchini (Algeria) can serve as symbols of spring and rebirth. For charoset, you can use any combination of fruits and nuts. The seder might not taste or smell the same as you're used to, but you'll have a similar experience of thinking and talking about symbolism and the Exodus story.

Foods that Jewish communities around the world have used for the Passover table

Information from Too Good to Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe, by Jennifer Felicia Abadi, used with permission:

Karpas: curly parsley, flat-leaf parsley, celery stalk, celery leaves, celery bottom, chard, lettuce, green fava beans, zucchini, sorrel, scallion, cucumber, parsnip greens, boiled potato, shredded beets (with lemon, sugar, and salt).

Haroset: many mixtures of fruits and nuts. See examples here.

Zeroah: lamb shank bone (with or without meat on it), piece of lamb liver or lung, meat stew, roasted chicken wing or leg, roasted goat leg, turkey leg, calf bone; vegetarian versions: (paschal) yam, red beet.

Maror/Hazeret: horseradish root, horseradish with beet juice and vinegar, endive, radish (with black pepper), romaine lettuce, collard greens, parsley leaves, watercress, spring onions, ginger root, coriander leaves, bok choi, dandelion greens, frisée, chicory root, arugula, parsnip, celeriac, celery root, escarole.

Egg: hard boiled or roasted egg, often browned with onion skins, a black tea bag, or coffee grounds, olive oil, vinegar, saffron; vegan versions: flower, mushroom, rice.

Liquid representing tears and sweat of enslaved Israelites: vinegar (white, red, wine, cider, etc.), lemon juice, lime juice, lemon juice mixed with salt and zhug.

Matzah: if you have flour and water, you can make your own at home.


Greek seder plate


Yemenite Passover table


Libyan Passover basket tray ("sabadj")


Bukharian Passover tray ("ke'ara")


American Ashkenazi seder plate, including an orange, which represents the inclusion of marginalized Jews (image and explanation from My Jewish Learning).

Slide show

Images from paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and photos of Jews around the world celebrating Passover. Hover to see captions or click on image to view complete slideshow.

bottom of page