For years–perhaps since the Exodus itself–matzah has lived up to its reputation as “the bread of affliction.”
Dry and bland, most Jews eat it out of obligation, and marvel at the paradox that non-Jews seemingly can’t get enough of it. But a new generation of matzah bakers is making unleavened bread that will leave seder attendees wanting more.
The Associated Press reported recently on the resurgence of creative matzah producers and users. Perhaps the most traditional is Vermatzah. As the name suggests, it is baked in Vermont, as well as being grown and milled there. The website boasts that some of the grain is grown by Vermatzah itself, and the rest comes from neighboring farms. Then, the traditional round matzahs are baked “by the open [wood] fire in small, handmade batches ensuring the freshest quality.”
Vermatzah also states that its product is “eco-kosher,” observing “the deep well-springs of Jewish wisdom and tradition about the relationships between human beings and the earth.”
There’s just one catch: it’s not actually kosher. Vermatzah is not produced under rabbinical supervision, and not certified kosher.
But the kosher observant can turn to Matzolah, a matzah-based granola cheekily dubbed “the trail mix of the Exodus.” Wayne Silverman and his family began mixing up Matzolah decades ago, but only recently made it available at retailers like Whole Foods. They don’t bake their own matzah, but instead partner with Streit’s, one of only two remaining national matzah producers in the country (the other is Manischewitz).
Matzolah was named “Best New Passover Product” at the recent KosherFest expo. It currently comes in Maple Nut flavor, with a Whole Wheat Maple Nut version in development.