Why is this matzo different from all other matzos?
April 17, 2016 5:22 PM   Subscribe

“What was remarkable to me is that being constrained by the rules of the rabbi, it forced us to figure out how to better preserve the quality of the grain,” Klaas said. (NYTimes)
posted by Shmuel510 (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
There are some interesting twists on matza coming out of Israel but being a BDS-supporter I can't much taste them, so happy to have some BK loving.
posted by yonation at 6:23 PM on April 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


I agree with the person who says that suffering is part of Passover, and making matzo that tastes good is cheating.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:25 PM on April 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm loving the matzo/matzoh/matzah tags over there.

The Yiddish Farm sells shmurah matzo, and I was sorely tempted, but at $40 a pound it's a bit too rich for my blood.
posted by damayanti at 6:50 PM on April 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay, so there were some really dark times in my tween/teen years when we didn't get enough to eat. Jobs were so hard to come by that Mom was only making a few dollars a week picking up under the table waitress shifts. Dad wasn't sending child support, but we couldn't prove it in a court of law, so they always cointed his income if we applied for any kind of assistance, rendering us ineligible. On top of that, the county was such a poor area that there wasn't even enough charity to go around. All the overtaxed food pantries wouldn't just give you food no questions asked;/you had to be financially qualified to get those as well.

But we had Grandma's network. Grandma and her family come from a long line of scroungers. If there's anything going spare they take it and hang on to it until somebody they know needs it. Everybody's old clothes and books emded up there, and everyone brought anything from their own food baskets they couldn't use. In addition, one of my shady uncles owmed a cleaning company and the other one tore down building. They were always scoring tons of random stuff from businesses that had closed down.

If you're wondering what all this back story has to do with anything, the short short version is that we ended up with literally a closetful of cases of very stale Manischewitz matzos. They were the texture and flavor of acoustic ceiling tiles, but when you're hungry enough you can get pretty creative with them. Matzo covered with shredded government cheese, microwave for 30 seconds? Pizza! The jar of government honey that's gone all crystallized? Reliquify it and drizzle it over a matzo: pancakes! Crumbled up hot sauce in a bowl with powdered milk? The world's latest cold cereal (i call MatziO's).

I love Manischewitz and Jewish food in general, but I can't bring myself to eat matzos anymore.

( another Shady Uncle special was a gross of vending machine sanitary napkins - the old-fashioned kind with the safety pins. I remember mad dashes in the morning, breaking open a boxes to get the safety pins to hold my school clothes together. Another Another uncle gave us a 5 gallon drum of the hydrogenated vegetable oil they popped popcorn in at a defunct cinema. It made delicious pie crusts, of you didn't mind them bring bright orange.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:00 PM on April 17, 2016 [27 favorites]


I know this isn't the main thrust of the story, but it's never been 110 in New York.
posted by ftm at 8:44 PM on April 17, 2016


I'm loving the matzo/matzoh/matzah tags over there.

A bakery near me had two baskets of bread one Friday morning, one labelled "Spelt Challa" and the other labelled "Spelt Challah". I just stood and stared, unable to work out how orthography could affect the dough.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:50 PM on April 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


I have had that kind of matza -- we used to go on field trips to watch them being made and get some to take home -- and it is actually not any tastier, it's just gross in a different way. Maybe they were less careful about the moisture content, or maybe it's just impossible to make matza taste good.
posted by jeather at 8:59 PM on April 17, 2016


The difference is one was spellt "challa" and the other was spellt "challah".
posted by Small Dollar at 9:03 PM on April 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have had that kind of matza -- we used to go on field trips to watch them being made and get some to take home -- and it is actually not any tastier, it's just gross in a different way.

On the one hand, my experience is that shmurah matzoh from different producers often does taste different. Until now, I've assumed that was due to variances in thickness, baking time, and so on. I never thought to question the provenance of the flour, but perhaps that was a mistake, and the terroir and handling of the wheat are also factors.

On the other hand, while I do generally find matzoh palatable*, I don't think even the best of it has ever made me sit up and say "yum."

On the third hand, I have—of my own free will—eaten two-year-old shmurah matzoh and found it to be indistinguishable from the "fresh" stuff. Whether this is a bug or a feature is a matter of perspective!

* In moderation, anyway. The weeklong marathon is one thing I don't miss about not being observant these days.
posted by Shmuel510 at 9:23 PM on April 17, 2016


Seriously, dry it in the oven on a low temperature. Even the two-year-old stuff will crisp right up.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:05 PM on April 17, 2016


Store-bought matzoh always tastes like acoustical ceiling tile.

I baked my own matzoh with 100% rye flour one year. It was amazing, revelatory. I know that no one but me would consider it kosher for Passover, but I followed the rules and fresh out of the oven it was actually edible.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:45 PM on April 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


A bakery near me had two baskets of bread one Friday morning, one labelled "Spelt Challa" and the other labelled "Spelt Challah". I just stood and stared, unable to work out how orthography could affect the dough.

This is a joke/pun on "spelt", right?
I want to seem cool and with-it but I'm honestly not sure if I'm understanding this one right.
posted by R a c h e l at 7:31 AM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


A bakery near me had two baskets of bread one Friday morning, one labelled "Spelt Challa" and the other labelled "Spelt Challah". I just stood and stared, unable to work out how orthography could affect the dough

You can really taste the H.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:08 AM on April 18, 2016


I agree with the person who says that suffering is part of Passover, and making matzo that tastes good is cheating.

I fucking love matzoh. And then there's matzoh brei, delicious.
posted by kenko at 10:35 AM on April 18, 2016


That was well written and lovely.

Once when I worked in County Extension, I saw a rabbi out in a field of wheat. Now I know what was going on.
posted by acrasis at 6:10 PM on April 18, 2016




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