The Pizza of Affliction

March 26, 2010

Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Ah yes. The Matzah Pizza.

Many gentiles know of Matzah, and that Jews eat it on Passover. However, even those that do know of Matzah and when it is consumed probably do not realize that Matzah is not just consumed during the Seder itself, but for seven days during the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread.

That means if you are an observant Jew, you are stuck with eating this stuff several days after the turkey and brisket leftovers have all been consumed.

While Matzo meal is used for a number of enjoyable culinary applications, such as the beloved Matzo Ball Soup, and Kugels, Matzot themselves don’t rate particularly high on the enjoyment scale on their own.

Oh, there’s Matzo Brei,  but at that point the physical properties of the shitty cracker in question have been completely transmuted into something resembling French Toast.

So Jews have been trying for an eternity to do something ELSE with Matzot. Sometime in the 20th century, American Jews got the idea of using  them  for half-assed salami sandwiches, PBJs and the like.

And then in the 50’s or the 60’s the Matzah Pizza came, which no sane pizza enthusiast would ever put in their mouth or even remotely call a Pizza. Especially since virtually all Matzah Pizzas were made with horrible processed jarred sauces which were Kosher for Passover knockoffs of stuff like RAGU or Pizza Quick.

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Matzo Brei 101

March 26, 2010

Here’s another classic resurrected for the Chosen People… Foodies. Enjoy.

— Jason

Matzo Brei — some people like to eat it just during Passover, but I like it all year round. To me, it’s the ultimate breakfast food. Both savory and sweet, it combines both aspects of French Toast and scrambled eggs in one package.

The version we are going to do is a savory version which we’ll top with syrup. You can also do a strictly sweet version, but I think the whole notion of that is insipid — you really want the contrast of the savory and sweet together.

The first thing you’ll need to do is take half a box of plain matzos (which you can buy year round), crack them in half, and then half again, and soak them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.

Then you want to drain them in a colander so they are just soaked and a little soggy, but not swimming in water.

Are you ready to make the greatest Hebrew contribution to breakfast and brunch cuisine? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more.

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Wassaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabi

December 17, 2008

I admit, I love it when people send me product samples. I’m a junkie for trying new foods and products. So when the folks over at Real Wasabi asked me if I’d like to take 1/4lb of wasabi rhizomes for a spin, I said… SURE!

Most people have probably never eaten real wasabi. Most of the wasabi that you get in sushi restaurants or that is used as a flavoring for snacks and other products is really just white horseradish that is colored green. From a botanical perspective, Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) has little or no relation to white horseradish, and in terms of actual flavor, its really a lot different.

An apt comparison would be how most people perceive the cinnamon used on their French toast or as a common spice as real cinnamon, but in most cases it isn’t — real cinnamon comes from the rare bark of a tree that grows in Ceylon, as opposed to the bark of the Vietnamese cassia tree,  the most common substitute.

Similarily, real Wasabi is grated wasabi rhizome, not white horseradish which most common wasabi powder comes from. Although both plants are from the crucifer family, they really taste very different. Wasabi has almost an “electric”  taste with a very distinctive tingling sensation produced, which horseradish does not. What it does have in common with horseradish is its incredible pungency, although it is much more fleeting in effect.

One of the reasons why white horseradish is substituted for wasabi is that up until very recently, it only grew in Japan, and importing it was unbelievably expensive. In the last 10 years, two companies have started cultivating it in the US. One company is Pacific Farms FreshWasabi.com, which is based out of Oregon, distributes its product primarily in paste form and until recently did sell fresh wasabi rhizome.

RealWasabi.com is one of the few and I think the only company in the US that actually sells rhizome and grows domestically and ships to anyone who wants them. The company has its own farm based in the mountain region of western North Carolina, where the altitude and the temperate climate has proven to be good for growing Wasabia japonica.

Even domestically grown wasabi is a rare treat, and should be used sparingly. Wasabi Rhizome from RealWasabi.com costs $100 per pound and $55.00 per half pound. The fresh rhizomes have a shelf life of approximately 30 days in the refrigerator, if wrapped in a damp paper towel and kept in a plastic Zip-Lock bag.

Fresh Wasabi Rhizome Meal by you.

1/4lb of Fresh wasabi rhizomes, shipped direct from North Carolina from the folks at RealWasabi.com.

Whazzaaaa with the wasabi? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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