Matzo Party

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Just in time for Passover, Aaron Gross, great-great-grandson of the founder of Streit's Matzo will join us to discuss how matzo is made and the history of the family's matzo business on the Lower East Side. They’ve been baking there since 1925 and are still family-owned in their fifth generation. It's America's last family-owned matzo factory.


Aaron Gross

Comments [13]

Emily from Nyack

According to Donald D. Kasarda, Former Research Chemist for the United States Department of Agriculture:

The scientific name for bread wheat is Triticum aestivum var. Aestivum—the first part of the name defines the genus (Triticum) and the second part, the species (aestivum). Species falling in the genus Triticum are almost certain to be harmful to celiac patients...Some Triticum species of current concern include Triticum aestivum var. spelta (common names include spelt or spelta), Triticum turgidum var. polonicum (common names include Polish wheat, and, recently, Kamut), and Triticum monococcum var. monococcum (common names include einkorn and small spelt). I recommend that celiac patients avoid grain from these species. Also, given their very close relationship to bread and durum wheats, I think it is unlikely that these grains would be safe for those with classical allergic responses to wheat.

Apr. 08 2009 07:53 PM
Emily from Nyack

I just want to correct a dangerous statment made by Mr. Gross. Spelt is NOT gluten free, Spelt matzas are NOT safe for people with Celiac disease. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat, it may be less harmful for people with wheat allergies than modern wheat but it is harmful for celiacs. Here is a link to an article about the federal government shutting down a factory for labelling spelt and kamut as wheat and gluten free:

Apr. 08 2009 07:49 PM
Johnny S

I can't believe I missed your Matzoh party! But in a way I'm glad I didn't arrive last.

Apr. 08 2009 02:11 PM
Mordechai from NY

Thanks for a fine program. I do want to correct one error that Leonard made, when he asked his guest about 'shmura matzoh', using shmurah as a synonym for hand matzah (as opposed to machine matzah). His guest corrected him to a degree, but the issue was not sufficiently clarified.

The story is as follows - shmurah means matzah that is guarded. Guarded so that water does not get in the way and ruin the matzah for ritual use. Machine matzah can be shmurah if it has special supervision, just as hand matzah can. Some Jews, particularly Hassidim, feel that the matzah should be hand-made, but others, including great Rabbis, feel that machine matzah is fine, or even preferable to hand matzah, if properly supervised.

Dave - in response to your question - you can use flour, make your own matzos, etc., if the wheat and flour were guarded/supervised, and you know what you are doing (e.g. have studied the laws of matzah).

Apr. 08 2009 01:14 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The guest from Streits was so very unaffected and a pleasure to listen to. Makes for a change.

Apr. 08 2009 01:01 PM
anonniemuss from NYC

No matzoh discussion would be complete without mention of the guy who was baking it in a converted schoolbus in an upstate NY backyard:

Apr. 08 2009 12:55 PM
Jennifer from NYC

I want to see pictures!

Apr. 08 2009 12:53 PM
Keren from Cobble Hill

The Ultimate Guide to Passover

The Ultimate Humor Guide to Passover

Apr. 08 2009 12:53 PM
Candiru from NJ

Does anyone remember the old Saturday Night Live skit with Billy Crystal playing Joe Franklin? One of his "sponsors" was "Matzos by Streit's, for the unleavened experience of a lifetime." Was Streit's aware of this or associated with it in any way?

Apr. 08 2009 12:52 PM
Jennifer from NYC

I can't believe all of this is happening on the lower east side!

Apr. 08 2009 12:52 PM
Scott Watson from Secaucus NJ

I know it's not K.P., but what's going on with Haimisha Farfel? I can't seem to find it anywhere? It's like Panic in Needle Park out there!

Apr. 08 2009 12:50 PM
Nancy Breslow from NYC

My late mother's soup recipe calls for Streit's soup bean mix. But I can't find it now in the stores. All I can find is Manichewitz' brand. Are you still making the soup bean mix (sold in a cellophane tube)? Thanks!

Apr. 08 2009 12:49 PM
Rachel from The Bronx

I read the story regarding the 5Towns and Queens Vaads last-minute recommendation to not purhcase your matza this year. I commend Streit's in handling this matter in such a mentchlich, professional way, and it is unfortunate that the powers that be did not reciprocate. I will continue to purchase, with great pride and trust in yours and Rabbi Soleivetchik's kashrut, your products. This type of politicals is a sad state of our Kosher world, one where male egos and power reign supreme. May we merit the day where all of us Jews get along and the word of a G!d fearing Jew and Torah observer holds water with his fellow chaver.

Apr. 08 2009 11:44 AM

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