Lion of the Blogosphere

Shmurah matzah tastes horrible

Was the guy who wrote this NY Times op-ed smoking the matzah?

SEVERAL years ago, at a family Seder, I tasted a matzo I actually liked. It was misshapen and lightly burned, distinguishing it from the machine-made matzo of my youth. And this one possessed something that I had never experienced with matzo: It had flavor. What can I say? Up until that moment, the best matzo of my life was not much better than the worst matzo of my life; you could taste the struggle in every bite. For the first time I ate matzo and thought, This is delicious.

The bakery, I learned, specialized in an elite class of matzo called “shmurah,” meaning “guarded” or “watched,” which Orthodox communities prescribe for the first night of Passover.

My mother always seems get some “shmurah” matzah every year from the Orthodox people, and I can assure you that it’s the worst tasting stuff I have ever eaten in my entire life. Ten times worse than commercial matzah that you buy in the supermarket. Remember that it comes from the same people who drink Manischewitz “wine.” And who take fish which would taste perfectly good if it were grilled or broiled and served with butter, and instead mash it up, mix it with matzah meal, and make fishballs out of it. Don’t believe everything you read in the New York Times.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 16, 2016 at EST pm

Posted in Religion

37 Responses

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  1. I’ve only had Manischewitz a handful of times, but thought it was pretty good. I think people are snobby about sweet wines and reject it for that reason alone.

    steve@steve.com

    April 16, 2016 at EST pm

    • I’m pretty sure it’s just Welch’s grape juice with a dash of Vodka. You could make that yourself for less than $4/bottle or whatever it costs.

      onetwothree

      April 16, 2016 at EST pm

  2. Matzah is a poor man’s bread, a bread of affliction. We eat it on Pesach night to commemorate and relive our exodus from Egypt. It tastes great for what it’s supposed to be. Don’t believe everything you read on ‘The Lion of the Blogoshpere’.

    Yakov

    April 16, 2016 at EST pm

    • Matzah tastes like water biscuits, which is OK. As long as it’s not shmurah matzah which tastes horrible.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 17, 2016 at EST am

    • It tastes terrible because it’s supposed to make you feel bad for the people that had to eat it. Not sure if theres a religious significance to it making you incredibly constipated.

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • Yes, that’s the whole problem with Judaism. Instead of happy holidays, you have “holidays” where you are supposed to feel crappy for being Jewish.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • “A summary of every Jewish holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” – Alan King

        njguy73

        April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • @Lloyd

        To fulfill the Biblical commandment one needs to eat the amount equal to the volume of an average olive. Rabbinical tradition has increased it to five olives. If this gives you constipation, you need to see your gastrointerologist.

        @Lion
        Lets talk about, but seriously. Why does, Passover, for example, make you miserable?

        Yakov

        April 17, 2016 at EST am

  3. “Don’t believe everything you read in the New York Times.”

    I don’t believe anything that I read in the New York Times.

    gothamette

    April 16, 2016 at EST pm

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I hate those rat bastards. I pray each night that the NYT burns to the ground with all the scum trapped in the building. Eff ’em. Eff ’em all.

      Vincent

      April 17, 2016 at EST pm

    • More NYT nonsense:
      “Why was the wild garlic there at all? He came to believe that the wild garlic was a sign that his soil was “thirsty for sulfur.””

      garlic contains sulfur, so where is it it coming from if not the ground it is grown in?

      Just more NYT loose reasoning. Why is drying the grain mechanically verses in the sun any different? The Times cant explain it but are sure that there is a world of difference.

      Lion of the Turambar

      April 18, 2016 at EST pm

  4. Streit’s Onion Poppy Moonstrips Matzo is my personal favorite. But you should be more open minded about Schmura. The variance is very high between bakeries. The stuff is expensive, and people are creatures of habit, so they tend to only buy from one place. I’ve had both the best and worst in my life out of different Brooklyn bakeries.

    Handle

    April 16, 2016 at EST pm

  5. Isn’t matzah just like crackers? I’ve had it a few times. I wouldn’t say it’s horrible. It’s hard for crackers to be terrible. It’d be better though if it were salted, like Saltines. I’ve had Manischewitz as well, and it’s not that bad.

    Jewish cuisine is underrated. Knishes, matzah ball soup, reuben sandwiches, latkes, brisket, etc. are great.

    Tom

    April 16, 2016 at EST pm

    • A lot of Jewish food isn’t uniquely Jewish, and food which is solely Jewish in origin is overrated. . Knishes, for instance, are (according to Wikipedia) similar to Cornish pastries, calzones, perogies, etc. I’ve had them, and they taste great (sausage rolls for the win). Corned beef is a British invention. Putting it between bread isn’t revolutionary. Jews weren’t the only ones to fry potatoes with eggs and flour, and butter is superior to chicken fat.

      Half canadian

      April 17, 2016 at EST pm

      • Knishes don’t taste like perogies, calzones, etc. A lot of foods are similar. Chinese dumplings for example are similar to perogies, Chinese noodles to spaghetti, etc. But they taste different.

        Jewish cuisine is good, like many of these other cuisines.

        Tom

        April 18, 2016 at EST pm

  6. What do you think is the point of really bad Jewish food? Why has it stood the test of time?

    Is it some kind of Jewish membership hazing ritual? LOL.

    Rifleman

    April 17, 2016 at EST am

    • Actually, Jewish food is dying out. There are hardly any kosher-style delis left. They no longer sell knishes everywhere. It’s dying.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • I wouldn’t say dying out, but evolving to suit the tastes of gentiles.

        A baker managed to dole out high end matzoh desserts, babka and rugelach for SWPLs with deep pockets.

        JS

        April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • what do Hasidim eat? Have they started eating normal American food?

        Otis the Sweaty

        April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • @Otis

        Noy yet. They eat a lot of meat and chicken. They like fatty stuff. Totally old country.

        What’s normal American food, though?

        Yakov

        April 17, 2016 at EST pm

    • @rifleman

      Good question. Traditional food has been associated with, well, tradition. The Ashkenazi orthodoxy clung to all traditions in its struggle against secularism and modernity, hence the survival of the dishes that had their original in a completely different economic and culinary environment.

      Yakov

      April 17, 2016 at EST am

  7. I actually like the texture of ordinary grocery store matzoh; as a kid I would eat matzoh with butter pretty regularly. It’s a little like water crackers, which I eat with whatever cheese we have.

    Gozo

    April 17, 2016 at EST am

    • That reminds me that NAMs at Rickers used to ask me for ‘some of that Jewish cracker’. They liked it and I used to get a pound of it a day in addition to my meals. It was not hand made, but there is no reason for it to be. NAMs eat mazah, like it and don’t complain, but Lion complains! Go figure. Russians make gefilte fish for Christmas and New Year, but Lion complains!

      Reminds me of a story. An angry Jewish woman approached a Chassidic rabbi and started berating him for wearing all these ridiculous clothes. So he tells her:
      – ‘Madam, I’m not Jewish, I’m Amish.’
      – ‘Oh I’m so sorry sir, I’d not realized that. You should be so proud of your heritage!’, goes the woman.

      Yakov

      April 17, 2016 at EST am

      • The French make quenelles, and Lion would not complain!

        gothamette

        April 18, 2016 at EST am

  8. Gefilte fish means stuffed fish, so this is the real way to do it. Also, like most Jewish foods, it’s borrowed from the nations among whom Jews had found themselves living. So don’t make it into some idiotic Jewish dish.

    Yakov

    April 17, 2016 at EST am

  9. All kosher for Passover matzah is shmurah (שמורה), which means guarded from coming into contact with water prior to the beginning of the kneading process. What your mother gets is the hand made rather then machine made matzah. There are various opinions on the subject as well as various levels of shmurah, but I’m gonna skip them, unless you want to hear more.

    Yakov

    April 17, 2016 at EST am

  10. Yehuda or Aviv.

    The only two matzah worthy of the name.

    Never buy any American-made ones. Only Israeli-made. American-made matzah is white-white. Israel-made will be brown in the right places.

    njguy73

    April 17, 2016 at EST am

    • Brown in the right places…ROFL, dawg.

      Vincent

      April 17, 2016 at EST pm

      • Vincent, I’m referring to the fact that properly baked matzahs should have a uniformly white look, but should look toasted and bumpy on the perforations.

        njguy73

        April 17, 2016 at EST pm


  11. Streit’s Matzo Factory, a Piece of Lower East Side History, Is Moving On
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/07/nyregion/streits-is-set-to-close-its-lower-east-side-matzo-factory.html?_r=0
    Still in the same family that started it and made on the Lower East Side until last year.

    Nedd Ludd

    April 17, 2016 at EST am

  12. “Shmurah matzah”, making my eyes bleed, in Hebrew the adjective comes after the noun, so it should be “Matzah Shmurah”.

    In general, I like east European Jewish food, however in Israel where most of the population is from the middle east and Mediterranean countries it is very hard to find restaurants of east european food.

    Hashed

    April 17, 2016 at EST pm

    • Eastern European fare would be bleh, when compared to the food of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

      JS

      April 17, 2016 at EST pm

    • “Shmurah matzah” is Yiddish and all parts of speech are in the right places, relax.

      Yakov

      April 18, 2016 at EST am

      • Yet the words are Hebrew, so Yiddish also got it wrong

        Hashed

        April 18, 2016 at EST pm

      • Yiddish has hutzpah, it takes Hebrew words and uses them with its own syntax. Typically Jewish.

        Yakov

        April 19, 2016 at EST am

  13. Matzah and Dead Sea Salt, this is pretty much it. Everything else is borrowed, mostly from Eastern Europe. I can envision Apple Pie called Jewish food somewhere else at some future time.

    MyTwoCents

    April 19, 2016 at EST pm

  14. I love Matzah Shmurah, it has a great texture. I disagree about the superiority of Isreali matzah. I find that the best shmurah matzah comes from Brooklyn.

    A Jewish businessman ate his lunch on a park bench on sunny days. One day during Passover a blind man sat on the bench next to him. The businessman wanted to share his lunch with the blind man, and handed him a matzah.

    The blind man accepted the matzah, ran his fingers over it, and said, “Who writes this shit?”

    LBD

    April 20, 2016 at EST pm


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