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April (and sometimes March) ushers in the Passover holiday in the Jewish tradition. In simple terms, this holiday is a spiritual remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt after 400 years of slavery. The Passover seder is the traditional meal shared with family and friends on the first two nights of the weeklong celebration, and while the meal contains six key components, the most important ritual food just might be matzo.
Matzo (sometimes spelled “matzoh” or “matzah”) is a thin, cracker-like “bread” made simply from flour and water. It’s a key Passover component because it represents the Jews’ hasty retreat from Egypt, which left no time for bread to rise. In some homes, there’s a tradition of breaking the matzo in two and hiding one half for the children to hunt for. Other families skip the games and stick to eating, but creative cooks in households around the world have come up with new twists on the matzo tradition, like matzo latkes. Another intriguing recipe from the VT vaults is Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Matzo Bark, which features the humble bread enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. That’s my kind of celebration.
You can also use matzo meal and matzo ball mix as you would breadcrumbs and even as a binder in baked goods. For a lovely vegan matzo ball soup recipe, check out the tasty excerpt from Mayim Bialik’s new cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, in the April/May 2014 issue of Vegetarian Times.
Do you have a favorite Matzo recipe for Passover? Is it sweet or savory? Tell us all about it!
Aurelia d’Andrea’s passion for travel is deeply intertwined with her love of food. Whether in Perth, Prague, or Phnom Penh, she always gravitates toward local markets in search of edible treasures, and takes pleasure in re-creating tasty travel memories at home in her tiny Parisian kitchen.