Making Matzo in Brooklyn

A worker at the Lubavitch Matzah Bakery in Crown Heights wraps a bundle of shmura matzos. (Photo courtesy of Rabbi Chaim Landa, Chabad Lubavitch, via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

In anticipation of Passover this Friday, Brooklyn Daily Eagle‘s Raanan Geberer takes a look at the different kinds of matzo, the holiday staple, being made in the borough.

The two types of matzo made here, in a sense, represent two ways of looking at Jewishness — one, a group of bakeries run by Orthodox Jewish people who believe in “going the extra mile” for kashrut, and the other, a new company that seeks to take matzo out of the realm of religion and take it into to the wider cultural sphere.

Several bakeries in Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Borough Park manufacture “shmura (or shmira, depending on the dialect of Yiddish one speaks) matzo,” which is watched from the time the grain is harvested in the field to the time it’s packed to avoid contamination or to avoid contact with moisture before the flour is actually mixed with the water.

The shmura matzo bakeries are connected with different groups of Orthodox or Hasidic Jewish people – for example, the Lubavitch Matzah Bakery on Albany Avenue is connected to the Lubavitcher Hasidim.

Go to Brooklyn Daily Eagle to read more on shmura matzo and the “eclectic matzo products” made by a company in Gowanus whose approach to making the flatbread is “culturally-based.”

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