There are various reasons given for the widespread Ashkenazi custom to be stringent in not eating kitniyot on Pesach. Among them: kitniyot look similar to chametz and may be confused; kitniyot is often collected in to the same storehouses as chametz, kitniyot is often made into similar products as chametz, etc.

I was walking in the Israeli outdoors on chol ha'moed Pesach and, at present, there is wild mustard growing everywhere. On a regular day I would often pick some, taste it, teach the kids, etc. But mustard is generally considered to be kitniyot. Is there any reason to be machmir and not eat this mustard, given that (I imagine) the reasons not to eat kitniyot dont apply here, since I can see the actual plant and it is going from the plant straight into the mouth without any chametz in sight. Or is there a "lo plug", and it would be forbidden in any case.

Stated otherwise: If the conditions for kitniyot clearly do not apply and can be verified as such i.e. my immediate personal experience standing in front of a wild mustard plant, is kitniyot still prohibited for this situation?

  • Can’t imagine it’s worse than these kipa.co.il/חדשות/בשורה-לאשכנזים-פריכיות-אורז-כשרות-לפסח
    – Joel K
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 11:41
  • 2
    Is this different than all the other arguments given against kitniyot in the modern day? What makes this case different than any other "the reason given for this minhag isn't applicable anymore, so do we need to follow the minhag" question? Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 13:35
  • 2
    How is this different from a mashgiach who supervises every step of production?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 13:39
  • 1
    Is harvesting the mustard on Chol Hamoed allowed?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 13:42
  • 1
    @DoubleAA It seems, that If the labor is done for the purpose of eating food on Chol Hamoed, it is permitted (Shulchan Aruch, OC 533:1). Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


The prohibition on kitniyot applies regardless. For example, if you were 100% sure that you had a mustard plant, picked it yourself, and then cooked it, the prohibition would obtain.

However, in terms of your specific case of eating the dry raw mustard: as far as I understand it, the majority Ashkenazi position is that we don't treat kitniyot more stringently than the five grains. Since we are allowed to eat grains that haven't come into contact with water, so too can we eat kitniyot that haven't come into contact with water.

According to a minority position, we treat kitniyot more stringently, forbidding their consumption even without contact with water. This is because there's no real reason to distinguish dry from wet with kitniyot (since they don't rise), and they don't want people to confuse kitniyot for the actual five grains.

See Peninei Halakha for sources.


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