As sundown arrived Monday, and the Jewish celebration of Passover was set to begin, who knew there was a whitefish shortage around the Great Lakes

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As sundown approached Monday, and the Jewish celebration of Passover was set to begin, who knew there was a whitefish shortage in the Great Lakes region that endangered the proper holiday celebrations?

The Associated Press reported that many, many fish markets in the Great Lakes region were running short of whitefish, a key ingredient in gefilte fish, a traditional Jewish dish.

For the uninitiated, gefilte fish is ground whitefish, vegetables and bread crumbs formed into loaves or balls. Gefilte is the Yiddish word for "stuffed fish."

Some folks are substituting tilapia for the whitefish or even the Manischewitz whitefish and gefilte fish in jars in the grocery store.

No tilapia tragedy here but not exactly the best substitute.

Apparently, this is because the really cold winter had most of the Great Lakes frozen so fishing boats couldn't get out to fish. One company near Detroit said it ordered 500 pounds of whitefish and got 75 pounds.

There's a huge shortage in the Chicago area and, at Hungarian Kosher Foods in Skokie, Illinois, they are rationing the fresh whitefish and urge customers to eat frozen or jarred fish.

I look at it this way. I am not Jewish but Irish Catholic. If you have to substitute other fish for whitefish, just drown it in horseradish.

That always does the trick for me.

Follow me on Twitter @KimWendel

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