Manischewitz vs. Streits vs. Yehuda Matzo
Matzo is just matzo, right? It’s that cardboard-like cracker that we eat for one week a year that leaves crumbs everywhere. It seems every family has their favorite brand, mostly a tossup between Yehuda, Streits or Manischewitz. But matzo has had a revival of sorts in recent years, you may be surprised to learn today’s Passover matzo is a lot different than what your bubbe used to serve.
Matzos that are Kosher for Passover use special Passover flour that has been protected from contact with liquids and cannot have taken more than 18 minutes from when the baker begins to when it is removed from the oven. You can purchase matzo throughout the year that does not adhere to these guidelines, so be sure to check that your seder purchase says in big letters Kosher for Passover or The Passover Collection with the current year stamped on it. It’s actually quite shocking that so many matzos are not kosher for Passover. Who is voluntarily eating matzah year round? Is there a big market for this? We do have a family tradition of eating matzah brie throughout the year on days where we need a brain boost because the combination of carbs and eggs is good for mental sharpness, but I’m still perplexed by the fact that many matzos are not kosher for Passover.
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Manischewitz Passover Matzo
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The world’s top matzo manufacturer is Manischewitz, which was founded back in the 1800s as a small bakery in Cincinnati, Ohio. The brand and its large array of kosher food products is rather iconic in Jewish America. So, is it the best because it’s the most classic?
Some say that the most worthwhile quality of a Manischewitz matzo is that it holds together well – so when your kids find the afikomen bag and wave it around excitedly, they will not end up holding a bag of crumbs. It has your classic matzo taste and performs well when used for baking kugels, matzo pizza and other Passover configurations. You really can’t go wrong with a box of this traditional favorite.
If you’re a foodie, you might be interested to know that Manischewitz makes a wide range of matzo varieties. Ever hear of this one, Gluten-Free Garlic and Rosemary Matzo-Style Squares? The box says “Not a replacement for seder matzo but still kosher for Passover.” I assume this means it is acceptable for Passover but not tasteless enough to remind you of the suffering of our people during the Exodus. Manischewitz also offers organic matzo, egg and onion, thin, thick, salted, unsalted and even whole wheat. Not all of them are kosher for Passover, however, so be careful when purchasing for a seder.
Streits Passover Matzo
Then we have Streits, a family matzo business that began in 1925 in New York City. This is my family’s favorite with one caveat: it is messy. The best feature about Streits is that it is fluffy and light, but that also means it can crumble easily and does not hold up well for other baked items such as matzo lasagna or pizza. Streits seems to be firmly planted in the traditional Passover foods arena and doesn’t offer the random array of foodie flavors that Manischewitz does. They do, however, make a wide range of other Passover products that are quite tasty, such as macaroons, matzo ball mix and cake mixes.
Yehuda Passover Matzo
The third top brand is Yehuda, which comes to us direct from a bakery in Israel, where it has been produced for 100 years. Yehuda combines the best of Streits and Manischewitz – it’s tasty and holds together well and works well for everything from kugels to cheesy matzo.
Last April, my family was not going into supermarkets. We had to rely on the internet and Instacart to hunt for our Passover food. Matzo was hard to come by; we could not find any Streits or Manischewitz anywhere so we purchased Yehuda matzo from Walmart.com. The process was a breeze, and if you add in a few other Passover items so that your total is $35 or more, you can get Next Day Delivery with free shipping. That was our first experience with Yehuda matzo and the general consensus was that it was an excellent matzo. It’s readily available in many stores across America and is rated highly by many kosher critics.
Which Passover matzo is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below! And, if you are looking for more Passover content, make sure to check out these other BMA blog posts.