Obama's keeping it Kosher on Israel visit
Obama's no stranger to Israeli food but it's the first time he's visited the country in full Passover preparation mode
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The stringent dietary restrictions are due to the timing of his arrival which coincides with preparations for the Jewish Passover festival.
The landmark King David Hotel has changed to a full religious menu in preparation for the start of the occasion, reported The Telegraph on Tuesday.
Passover commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Jews mark the occasion by eating unleavened bread, known as ‘matzah,’ while avoiding foods containing barley, wheat, rye, or oats.
Hotel staff say they will not be able to make an exception for the presidential party.
Obama and his aides can expect their dinner table to be laden with vegetables, while pasta dishes will remain very much off the menu, according to The Telegraph.
However, the hotel will operate a 24-hour room service operation throughout the president’s stay.
“We’re used to hosting heads of state and also American presidents, but this situation is very special for us because it’s so close to Pesach (Passover). For us it will be double the preparations,” the hotel's manager, Dror Danino, told Haaretz newspaper.
The imposed diet may pose a trial for Obama, who has been known to enjoy rich foods during political meetings.
In 2010, during a meeting with the then Russian president, Dimitry Medvedev, cheeseburgers were on the menu in what became known as the “Burger Summit” in Virginia, the U.S.