Food & dining

Not your grandmother’s matzo

Henry Hargreaves

Matzo represents the unleavened bread ancient Jews took with them on their quick exodus from Egypt. They left in such a hurry they had no time to wait for the bread they were baking to rise. It is essential on the Passover table and eaten during the weeklong celebration. Too bad it tastes like cardboard. But Brooklyn’s The Matzo Project has reinvented the bread of affliction by producing crunchy and tasty artisanal matzo that come in traditional squares as well as sturdy, triangular chips that are either salted, cinnamon sugared, or everything-flavored ($9 for a 6- ounce box; 1-ounce bags, $1.99; 6-ounce bags, $4.99). “Our goal is to become part of the snack-scape,” says Ashley Albert, who cofounded the company with her friend Kevin Rodriguez. The two, now New Yorkers but both from Miami, met 30 years agoin Jewish summer camp. It was about time the Passover staple had an upgrade, says Albert, who aims to make matzo as popular as the once ethnic pita chip. No guilt, the matzo is kosher but not kosher for Passover. The packaging alone is worth the purchase — a sassy, bespectacled lampoon of a Jewish grandmother embellishes the boxes and bags and kvetches, “Eat something, you look skinny” or “Would it hurt you to try something new?” Says Albert, “She’s a typical Jewish grandmother but very much like all grandmothers in the world.” Available at Eataly, 800 Boylston St., Boston, 617-807-7300; Mamaleh’s Delicatessen, One Kendall Square 15 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-958-3354; Allium Market, 1330 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-278-1486; The Main Course Market, 11 Washington St., Canton, 781-821-0005; Joppa Fine Foods, 50 Water St., The Tannery, Newburyport, 978-462-4662, or go to www.matzoproject.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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