Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Egg Matzo Taste Test Just in Time for Passover

Yesterday, I went shopping for egg matzo because Passover is approaching, and it's the only time of year you can get straight egg matzo. If you've not tried it, you should because it's vastly different than plain matzo. In fact, it's far superior, especially for making matzo brei. However, be very selective about the matzo you buy, or else you might have the experience I had this morning. To save you the disappointment and disgust, here's the results of my egg matzo taste test between Streit's and Manischewitz, two commonly stocked matzo brands.

First, I need to be honest with you -- I hardly ever buy Manischewitz-branded anything because if I buy matzo, it will more than likely be Streit's since it is very fresh, has a lot of flavor and typically costs less (not to mention the fact that the factory is right down the street from Babycakes bakery in NYC). And, because Mom and Dave frequently have matzo in the house, if I want some, they are usually very generous and hand me a box before I return home.

If I had not had such a gut-level reaction to the Manischewitz egg matzo this morning, I probably wouldn't have been inspired to write this review. However, the company's egg matzo was so tasteless that I was compelled to share this with you. First, I opened a fresh box and snapped off a small piece. Too bland for words. Mind you, Streit's and Manischewitz use the same ingredients in their egg mazto, but they are worlds apart in flavor and texture.

While Streit's is almost flaky when broken, Manischewitz's egg matzo is as stiff, if not stiffer than traditional matzo. In Streit's sample, I could taste the sweetness of the apple cider and the yolk of the egg. Not so in Manischewitz's.

When I topped the egg matzos with whipped cream cheese (think Temptee) and belly lox, Streit's brought out the smoky flavor of the fish and the cream of the cheese. Manischewitz's merely made the fish taste salty. Even worse, the cream cheese brought out the burnt flavor of the matzo.

Overall, I've definitely decided to swear off all egg matzo not Streit's. There's just no substitute, and Manischewitz should be ashamed of itself for even offering such a tasteless product (at such a high price!).


Anonymous said...

This was the first year I found Yehuda brand matzo and gefilte fish. Both were quite good, and the prices were good.

I like egg matzo with jam or Nutella on it - it's kind of like a Pop-Tart that way. I'll have to try it with cream cheese and lox...

Manischevitz keeps getting hit with price-fixing indictments, and their stuff isn't very good in general. I think they only survive where people don't realize that the other brands are actually good. They equate Jewish ethnic products with no flavor, but buy them because they're required for certain holidays.

A while back, there was an interview on public radio with an author about his book on Mob involvement in the kosher food business.

Anonymous said...

Right on! I thought I was the only one who noticed the difference.

Mark_F said...

Even though I have not tried the Manischeviz brand, my wife did buy the Streit's Egg Matzos and they are fantastic. I love tasting the mild hint of the apple cider. These matzos go great with seltzer water at bedtime (two thumbs up!).