Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shmurah Matzah for Passover...all the way from New York...

Every year at Passover, I splurge on Shmurah Matzah (מַצָּה שְׁמוּרָה maṣṣā šəmūr), buying just enough to feed a first seder with some left over for a week of matzah brei and snacktime. Can't remember what I paid last year, but at $20 a box for 5 round pieces/sheets per box (not cheapo!), so... $4 per round 12" diameter sheet of matzah. The Chabad Lubavitch of Utah (Salt Lake City) ships in (into Utah) large orders from New York.
Shmurah Matzah looks like round sheets of cardboard rescued from a fire (doesn't it? the black jagged edges?). I was shocked to discover the reaction by some Jewish people when I brought up shmurah matzah (...on a yak-trak hike, you know who you are!), "Ugh, digusting, gross!" (jeez, a bit harsh). 
Regular matzah (square, machine-made kind) tastes like flaky, super bland and boring, crispy saltine crackers. Shmurah matzah is completely different, rather dense and much chewier with a FLAVORFUL blandless (if you can imagine such thing). 
The rugged, uneven, uniquely handmade look of shmurah matzah visually alludes to biblical times, reminiscent of what I imagine the Israelites to be actually eating back then. Being a die-hard fan on anything seared to a crisp and handmade old-school style, I just LOVE this stuff! Shmurah matzah is at its best when eaten with apple-nut charoset (should be ALWAYS paired with charoset), which enhances its nutty matzah flavor and awesome texture. Yumm.
Shmurah matzah's round roundness -  fits beautifully on a pedestal cake dish! Stylish and practical, it allows for easy access at the seder table.

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