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March 29, 1996 - Image 51

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-03-29

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minutes. Serve hot and garnish with a con-
fetti of minced red-and-yellow peppers, if
Yield: eight crepes.
*Note: If you choose to double this
recipe, DO NOT double the batter. It must
be done in batches.
Ruth Mossok Johnston is the author of
The Buffalo Cookbook: The Low-Fat So-
lution to Eating Red Meat, which features
art by her husband, painter David McCall
Johnston. Mrs. Johnston writes a weekly
column for the Observer and Eccentric and
a monthly column for Detroit Metropoli-
tan Magazine.

25) Excluding that snazzy shmura
stuff, how much does the cost of
matzah vary?
The Jewish News searched stores
throughout metro Detroit and contacted
reliable sources in cities around the coun-
try. What we discovered is that the aver-
age price of matzah is about $2.30, ranging
from around $1.70 to $2.80. No special
matzahs (i.e., egg-free, garlic) were in-
cluded in this research.

Here are the facts:

er, much shmura matzah is round, and
a number of manuscripts from medieval
times show matzot cut not only in circles
but in triangles and other shapes. During
World War II, one of the most popular
matzah shapes in the United States was
a V, for Victory.

30) Can we count on you to know
this? How many times do you think
the word "matzah" (or its plural)
appears in the Haggadah? (Answer
at end of the story.)
a) 5
b) 9
c) 10
d) 35
e) 40

31) Have any matzah bakeries been
found in archaeological ruins?
One of the oldest known matzah bak-
eries is in Ostia, Italy, a port of Rome.
The area was first excavated in the 19th
century, and the finds suggested a Jewish
presence. This was confirmed in 1961
when archaeologists unearthed a syna-
What is known about the site is that it




Oak Park
Kansas City
Sunrise, Fla.

Hiller's Food Emporium
Jewel Kosher Foods
Jacobson's Kosher Foods
Tel Aviv Market
Seven Mile Market

26)When in Rome ...
The Illustrated Book of World Records
reports that thanks to matzah, pizzas have
been around for more than 2,000 years.
The first pizza, made by Roman soldiers,
featured olive oil and cheese atop matzah.

27)Can matzah be made out of any
No. Although the flour must not be al-
lowed to ferment for the matzah to be
kosher for Passover, the Torah directs
Jews to make the dough only from flour
which is capable of fermentation. These
include wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats.
You would be hard-pressed, however, to
find matzah made of anything but wheat



was built in the first century, enlarged
in the second and third and again in the
fourth century, after which the synagogue
began to crumble.
The remains showed that the syna-
gogue faced Jerusalem and had separate
seating for men and women, a taberna-
cle for the Ark, numerous Jewish sym-
bols (a menorah, lulav and etrog, and
shofar) carved into the stone, a mosaic
floor, a mikvah and a stove for baking

28)Do Jews have to eat matzah
throughout the entire holiday of
The only time the Torah obligates Jews
to eat matzah is on the first night of Pe-
sach, and then only the minimum amount
is obligatory. During the rest of the holi-
day we may abstain from matzah, though
• all other food we eat must be kosher for

32)Where is matzah made in the
U.S.? Is this what these bakeries do
all year?
The next time you visit lovely Jersey
City, N.J., you'll be in the hometown of the
Manischewitz matzah bakery. Though of
course it's busiest before Pesach, the fac-
tory operates the entire year, and all it
does is produce matzah and matzah prod-
Or if New York City is more up your
alley, check out the Streit's matzah fac-
tory on the Lower East Side. "We make
matzah right here on Rivington Street,
the same place we've been making it for
the past 60 years," said Streit's owner
Mel Gross.

29)Must matzah be a certain size
and shape? If not, why does it all
look the same?
It's simply a matter of convenience.
Modern matzah-making equipment was
designed to make the matzah square be-
cause it's easier to cut that way. Howev-

33)Has matzah gone on any really
wild adventures?
How about this? Simon Cohen, writing
in the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, re-
ports that a number of polar expeditions
won't leave home without it. It's a matter
of staying power, not taste. Although

matzah can get stale, it generally lasts for
a long time — certainly much longer than

34)Charoset and maror, hold the
The Earl of Sandwich is credited with
that wonderful concoction that bears his
name. But as anyone who has ever at-
tended a seder knows, it was the great
scholar Hillel who actually came up with
the first sandwich. It featured bitter herbs
placed between two slices of matzah, which
Hillel created so as to remember the Is-
raelites' bitter years in Egypt.

35)Matzah Mazel
Ask your relatives. If they're from Eu-
rope, they may well have a tale to tell
about how matzah (specifically the
Afikomen) is lucky. When they came to
America at the turn of the century, some
Jewish immigrants actually brought with
them a small piece of the Afikomen — or
perhaps they had left home with it, then
tossed it into the sea. Legend has it that
some immigrant-filled ships were facing
dangerous waters when suddenly every-
thing became calm — after the lucky
Afikomen was thrown overboard so that
it, and not the ship, should sink.

36)Other than boxed matzah, what
are some of the best-selling matzah
They certainly used their noodles at
Manischewitz when, three years ago, the
company began producing Pesach noodles.
Outside of the boxed matzah, noodles are
the company's best seller at Pesach, ac-
cording to Robert Solot, vice president of
operations at Manischewitz. "It's difficult
just to keep them in stock," he said. At
Streit's, it's something sweet that takes
the cake. Streit's owner Mel Gross said his
company's cookies (made with matzah
cake flour) do very well; he recommends
the vanilla and chocolate "Irvings" —
that's right, "Irvings." He explains: "I
named them after my grandfather. He
started this business and I loved him very

37)Is there any way to make a real-
ly tasty matzah-meal roll for Pe-
This recipe was provided by Sybil Co-
hen and appears in the Congregation Beth
Shalom Cooks the Second Time Around

2 cups matzah meal
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 375
Combine matzah
meal with salt and
sugar. Bring oil and
water to a boil. Add
to meal mixture and
stir well. Thoroughly beat
in eggs, one at a time. Al-
low to stand 15 minutes.
With oiled hands, shape
into rolls. Place on well-
greased cookie sheet. Bake

6 \

50 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes
12 rolls.

38)Have there been any famous
Jews named matzah?
You bet your matzah there was. Isaac
Matza was a graduate of New York Uni-
versity and a champion on the track field.
In 1957, he was ranked No. 8 in the world
in the half-mile and the 1,000, and in
1956 was No. 10 in the world in the in-
door mile.

39)Are both men and women oblig-
ated to eat matzah?
Yes, and it's an interesting story.
Halachah makes it clear that only men
are bound to positive mitzvot, or com-
mandments, which have a time limit. Eat-
ing matzah is a positive commandment
(directing Jews to do, rather than abstain
from an activity, such as not turning on
lights on Shabbat) and is, of course, time
bound: it must be consumed during Pe-
sach and, at the seder, in a certain amount
of minutes.
Apparently, however, the rabbis felt
that eating matzah, as part of the obser-
vance of Pesach, was of such importance
that in this instance they directed women
to disregard the law exempting them from
time-bound mitzvot.

40)How many different flavor of
matzah are available?
There's the plain kind, of course. But in
recent years some interesting varieties
have made their appearance on grocery
store shelves. These include:
* egg matzah
* whole wheat
* egg and onion
* salt-free
* American (low fat and cholesterol-free)
* deli-style rye
* savory garlic
* apple and cinnamon
* savory garlic
* yolk-free (not a one in the box will ask,
"Do you know why the chicken crossed the

ter C. The word "matzah" (or "matzot") ap-
pears in the Haggadah 10 times.









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