Wednesday, April 05, 2006

passover puzzle part 1

my man alan forwarded me a link to check out soft matza. apparently it is a sephardi* food which looks like this:

my first reaction to seeing this type of matza was that it looked a lot like naan (an indian bread i enjoy a couple times a week):

i have long thought it odd that we eat matza which is quite brittle. my sense is that it is different from what middle easterners would ever have eaten.

apparently flat breads can be leavened like pita and naan. what does leavening mean in this context?

perhaps if you don't let the dough sit for a few hours before cooking it, the bread comes out brittle like our contemporary matza. i have made pita myself before and didn't let the dough sit and it still came out soft. what gives? why do we eat such strange bread? what would have been contemporaneous?

*spellcheck wants to change sephardi to gephardt. i wouldn't have any of it.


At 4/05/2006 , Anonymous alan said...

I think that comparing regular American matza to "shmurah" matza can help. Since the "shmurah" matza is so much thinner, it comes out of the oven (baked for the same amount of time) much harder, drier, burnter, and crunchier than generic matza you buy in stores.

Kol va-chomer the difference between regular matza we're used to eating and this soft matza. I assume it stays soft because the dough is piled thicker when it goes into the over (for the same amount of time).

At 4/05/2006 , Anonymous alan said...

*over --> "oven"

At 4/07/2006 , Blogger BZ said...

Yeah. I've had the Sephardi matzah. It looks and feels like naan/pita, but still tastes like matzah. But it's still an improvement.

It's been pointed out that the original Hillel sandwich - pesach (lamb roasted on a spit), matzah (soft pita), and maror (spicy stuff) - was essentially shwarma.


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