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Things that are weird in Israel #7: Chad pa’ami, a poem about plastic cutlery

chad paami plastic spoon First, some background.  Israelis adore their plastic cutlery, which is mysterious because it is some of the most awful I have experienced in my entire life. 

The spoons are the worst – most are shaped in such a way as to slice the sides of my mouth every time I use them. 

The other cutlery here isn’t much better – the forks snap, leaving tines scattered everywhere in your food, while the knives have wimpy handles that don’t let you accomplish much of anything.

And don’t get me started on the plastic beverage cups, which, where I come from, would be known as “baggies.”  They do have a sort of ring arrangement around the top that prevents them from collapsing utterly when raised to the mouth or lowered to the table – usually.

imageNevertheless, the past week having been Pesach, and our dairy Pesach stuff having apparently been thrown away instead of packed meticulously for our lift (!), we have been dependent on plastic cutlery, also known as “chad pa’ami” (חד פעמי), which means “single use” and is a catchall phrase for anything you can use one time and never again – generally because it has fallen apart along the way.

Until our lift arrived, plastic cutlery was pretty much all we used at the merkaz klitah… so it felt really sad to have to go back to it for this week.

(Yeah, they did community kashering in KShmu, so theoretically, we could have hauled all the regular dairy cutlery to be boiled…)

So now that Pesach is over, I’ve written a poem, in tribute to the plastic cutlery that’s been “plaguing” me all week long (get it?  Pesach – plaguing?).

Chad paami, how I hate thee
All the mouth sores, scrapes and cuts
For Passover, but moreover
All the damage still remains.

All that plastic, trash fantastic
All our money down the drains.
And the mouth sores, scrapes and cuts.
Eating messy, like a klutz,

All those flimsy plastic handles
Stacked beside the yom tov candles
How my mouth bleeds and bemoans,
While around our table groans

The creak and crack of chad paami
Scraping matzah - double whammy
Now the chag is gone and through
So I can say I'm sick of you!!!

And imagelook! 

While googling, I turned up this picture, but I have also seen these in the stores… for people who can’t be bothered buying an actual pot (or cannot afford one):  it’s a chad paami POT – made of TINFOIL. 

If the quality is anything like the rest of the chad paami in this country, I would fear for my life when using this thing…

Please – share your terrible chad paami experiences (Israeli or otherwise) in the Comments section below!


  1. We've used those aluminum foil pots when traveling and they're great - except on induction burners, because they're not heavy enough. As for the chag paami cutlery, what you bought is the lowest grade. As with everything else, far better quality is available here, you just need to know where to find it - usually in larger supermarkets.

    1. Indeed. We have bought the decent (still not quite good) stuff, but before Pesach, it was super hard to find. My husband is the best shopper in the world and would gladly cross heaven and earth to find cutlery that doesn't hurt me. But in this case, he was unable to find any. Specialized party stores might have had better if he'd gone from store to store, but there was also a bit of a time crunch right before Pesach.


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