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A Southern Baptist Matzoh Maker On The Science And Religion Of Matzoh

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Apr 02, 2015
A Southern Baptist Matzoh Maker On The Science And Religion Of Matzoh

Matzoh isn't just for Jews, and it isn't just for Passover. It's a delicious, plain cracker that's ideal for all people all year round!

In this episode of The Sporkful podcast, I travel to the Manischewitz factory in Newark, NJ, to interview a Southern Baptist matzoh expert and a rabbi who is an expert on kosher law.

We talk about the science of matzoh making and eating, including:

- Manufacturing matzoh crunch (including how different cooking processes change crunch levels)

- The role that the little holes in matzoh play in determining a cracker's texture

- The reason why Tam Tams and matzoh crackers are hexagonal

The rabbi and I debate some tough theological questions, including:

- Some matzoh isn't kosher for Passover. If it isn't, should it really be considered matzoh? Isn't matzoh inherent in Passover? (The rabbi's response begins, "Let me strengthen your case before I tell you why you're wrong.")

- Is an open-faced matzoh sandwich actually a sandwich?

- Charoset is part of the Passover seder made of apples and nuts and meant to symbolize the mortar used to build the pyramids in Egypt. If the apples and nuts in a charoset are chopped so big that the charoset does not stay on your matzoh and act as an actual mortar, should the charoset be considered symoblic mortar? Or is it invalid as charoset if it doesn't work as mortar?

Also, the rabbi reveals his technique for using romaine lettuce to keep his maror on his matzoh, and Randall reveals the recipe for matzoh brei that the women who work in the Manischewitz test kitchen use. It's pretty intruiging and results in a matzoh brei that can be sliced into wedges like a frittata.

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