10 things you never knew about our Seder sta­ple

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

We’ve been eat­ing matzah balls since the 11th cen­tury. We picked up the habit in Europe when liv­ing in Al­sace- Lor­raine and Ger­many. The lo­cals ate kn­odel — the Ger­man term for dumpling”. As our an­ces­tors headed east they took the kn­odel with them, chang­ing the name to the Yid­dish kneidl.

Be­fore com­mer­cial, ma­chine-made matzah be­came avail­able (in the 19th cen­tury) bubbe made matzah balls with crumbs from matzah bought from the bak­ery. Some recipes still use crushed, soaked matzah. We’re split be­tween those pre­fer­ring light ‘floaters’ and oth­ers plump­ing for more solid ‘bounc­ers’. Golda Meir’s recipe was said to pro­duce heavy matzah balls. An­other route to airy matzah balls is to sep­a­rate the eggs and stiffly beat the whites be­fore adding them to your mix­ture. Or just in­crease your egg to matzah meal ra­tio. Sim­mer­ing them for at least 30 min­utes in a cov­ered pot also helps.

Lithua­nian Jews served theirs stuffed with cin­na­mon-spiced meat — a Chas­sidic re­li­gious tra­di­tion, said to add spe­cial­ness to Shab­bat. In

that kn­odel were gen­er­ally made with egg and bread­crumbs but the matzah ver­sion, in­vented for Passover, was so pop­u­lar it made it to menus through­out the year.

PHO­TOS: GETTY IM­AGES(6)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.