Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Taste of a Memory

Fresh Matzo from Streit’s

One of my favorite things about living on the Lower East Side is walking past Streit’s Matzos on Rivington Street. Skip the store and walk to the factory window. Say hello, smile, and within seconds a sizzling hot piece of fresh matzo will come through the window. Everytime. There is nothing better on this earth. Be careful not to burn your tongue.

I eat matzo (or matzah, or matzoh) all year round. I love Matzah Brei*. Maybe it is nostalgic—the taste of a memory: my sister, Wendle Wigs, making it for me after school, or having it at Dubrow’s with my grandmother before she went to work in the garment district. But I love it. It always lifts my spirits when I’m blue.

Obligatory follow up matzah brie discussion: scrambled versus pancake, sweet versus savory, soak the matzo or rinse the matzo. Scrambled, salt & pepper, rinsed.

After eating my hot matzo, I decided to pop into the store to see what else they sell. I found these cookies called Kichel, that were just mentioned in the book that I was reading. (Unorthodox. LOVED IT!) I hoped that they’d be savory, almost like the British baked goods that JustAwesome covets. Savory, yes. Delicious, no. Maybe this is something you need to be nostalgic for. They taste like stale soup nuts, that had maybe been wet once, with a bit of sugar on top. Horrible. The taste of someone else’s memory.

Fortunately, JustAwesome had bought some chocolate spread at Pain Quotidien last week.

And so she made lemonade from lemons. Not horrible.

Kichel with chocolate spread

*notice the second comment on the Bittman article!


  1. You'll have to make some for me next time I'm over. Thanks for the reference to the book; hadn't heard of it.

  2. If you'd like a good recipe for homemade kichels, try this one: