NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

March 26, 2014

The matzo makeover

It's not just your grandmother's recipe anymore

(Continued)

The Decatur, Ga., resident put it on the market last year, after selling it in stores briefly over a decade ago, and earned accolades at Kosherfest, an annual showcase for kosher foods. There’s maple nut, whole-wheat maple nut and gluten-free cranberry orange.

“When a Jewish person sees matzo, they say, ‘Oy, matzo.’ Dry, sticks to the roof of my mouth,” Silverman said. “And when they see a product for Passover, they say, ‘Oy, Passover. Even worse.’ We’ve tried to get people away from that notion.”

He chose “The Trail Mix of the Exodus” as Matzolah’s slogan.

Doug Freilich of Middletown Springs, Vt., makes small batches of artisanal matzo he calls Vermatzah. He started production about six years ago with help from his wife and two daughters. He makes his matzo in the more traditional round shape using grain he grows and grinds himself, then pops it into his wood-fired oven and wraps it in parchment paper with a delicate tie before gently placing six pieces in metal tins of bright green, red and yellow.

Freilich sells online and ships around the country, also using simple cardboard boxes. Sisterhoods at synagogues like his matzo, as do customers at food co-ops around the Northeast.

“We want to stay small and sustainable and really hold on to that quality,” he said, noting that his matzo is “eco-kosher” but does not meet the stricter kosher rules for Passover.

The DIYers are in full force on the matzo front. They’re going online to show off chocolate-dribbled matzo s’mores, matzo melted cheese sandwiches, matzo brei cupcakes (named for a matzo-egg dish) and matzo napkin rings made of color-copied prints of the real thing.

Taking a cue from gingerbread houses, matzo houses incorporate traditional Passover treats as decorations and chocolate as mortar. Other matzo creations include nutty, fruity brittles and barks in chocolate and caramel, matzo-layered ice cream cakes, toasted matzo crumbles on salads, and matzo-crusted chicken cutlets. Quinn likes spreading herb, spiced or lemon zest-infused olive oil on matzo, then baking it, or giving the oil as a Passover gift in a fancy bottle. Matzo-themed kitchen timers, aprons and iPhone cases are abundant.

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