Fresh, Hot Matzo Year Round
Yes, Passover is over but wouldn’t it be nice to have hot, fresh baked Matzo anytime you want it? Well, that is definitely possible thanks to the Streit’s Matzo Factory, which I recentlydiscovered is still baking “sheet-loads” of Matzo at their Lower East Side factory on Rivington Street.
148-154 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
The other day, after a delicious lunch at The Clinton Street Baking Company (try the fried green tomatoes – yum-yum), I headed up Rivington Street and came upon a simple, sparse looking storefront on the street level of what I thought was the abandoned Streit’s factory. I had seen the billboard on the side of the closed building many times before.
But on this day I was lucky and in for a surprise as the store was opened for business. I entered the store and was greeted by a jovial Orthodox fellow named Adam. The shelves were stocked with Matzo, left over passover products and some other kosher items like egg noodles, soup, pickles and cake mixes. Adam explained that the store was only open now Monday through Thursday, closed on Fridays and Saturdays due to the Jewish sabbath and now closed Sundays too, since Ratners and the rest of the kosher restaurants in the area had closed and the foot traffic for them had dwindled.
While the store was nostalgic for me, what was most exciting was that tucked away through an open door were some men wearing gloves catching hot baked Matzo as it rolled off the conveyor belt from a gigantic oven. I was amazed to see the huge sheets of Matzo which were being separated at perforated lines into the smaller sheets we are used to eating.
One of the men offered me a piece to taste fresh out of the oven. Now, I have eaten my share of Matzo but this was delicious. Not only was it hot and crunchy but it was sprinkled with salt and was much more tasty than the regular Passover Matzo. Adam explained that this was their new multi-grain Matzo which was made with a hint of oil and apple juice. I thought if Matzo tasted this good, I could eat it all year round so I bought a pound. With paper bag in hand, I headed to the production line as one of the men placed a stack of the steaming squares into my sack.
So, you don’t have to wait until next Passover to partake of this unleavened bread. Just head on down to the LES and make a visit to Streit’s. Tell Adam I sent you and maybe you will be as lucky as I was to catch them baking while you are there so you too can have fresh hot Matzo year round.
Jews who celebrate Passover are limited with what they can spread on Matzo during Passover. So, during the rest of the year when you can eat anything, try “shmearing” a little cream cheese, butter, hummus or peanut butter on Matzo for a tasty snack. You can even make Matzo pizza in a toaster over or microwave.