So that I have known from my childhood that the matzo is an unleavened bread and traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday. And I read that there are numerous explanations behind the symbolism of matzah. One is historical: Passover is a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt. The biblical narrative relates that the Israelites left Egypt in such haste they could not wait for their bread dough to rise; the bread, when baked, was matzah. The other reason for eating matza is symbolic: On the one hand, matza symbolizes redemption and freedom, but it is also lechem oni, “poor man’s bread”. Thus it serves as a reminder to be humble, and to not forget what life was like in servitude. Also, leaven symbolizes corruption and pride as leaven “puffs up”. Eating the “bread of affliction” is both a lesson in humility and an act that enhances the appreciation of freedom.
However according to Western Christian belief, matzah was the bread used by Jesus in the Last Supper as there he was celebrating Passover; Communion wafers used by Roman Catholics (as well as in some Protestant traditions) for the Eucharist are flat. All Byzantine Rite Churches use leavened bread for the Eucharist as this symbolizes the risen Christ.
Anyway the matzo bread seems to me a very healthy stuff since it doesn’t contain any “killer-life shortening” ingredients such as salt, fett, sugar instead there are only water and flour in it, thus everybody can consume it. According to my Jewish friend Rachel, in Israel it is a habit to eat matzos for breakfast so to smear it with some nutella cream. Evenings matzos can make an excellent low fat bread “greased” evenly with some aubergine cream, and serve with fresh tomato slices. And then there is my favorite variant the above mentioned Matzo soup dumpling which is also very popular staple food on Passover in Hungary! It is made from a mixture of matzah meal, eggs, water, and a fat, such as oil, margarine, or chicken fat then matzah balls are traditionally served in chicken soup with peas and estragon.
But the fact that matzo is an excellent ingredient for cake I didn’t know until I went to Antwerp. When I crossed the zebra in the Jewish quarter I arrived at a coffee house where a creamy cake reflected through the glass. With some Belgian chocolate not to mention the cinnamon flavor the cake made my day so that I asked for the recipe from the owner:
Matzos cake with cinnamon butter cream
Ingredients: 6 eggs
120 gr sugar
100 gr flour
50 gr matzos
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the cake:
30 dkg vaj
200 grs powder sugar
20 gr cacao
1 egg yolk
0.5 dl lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Method: Mix the 2/3 amounts of sugar with the egg yolks. Whisk the egg whites with the leftover 1/3 parts of sugar until stiff. In an other bowl mix flour seconds matzos and cinnamon. Stir egg white mousse into egg and finally add everything to the flour mixture. Pour this into a cake form and bake for 45 minutes on 160-180 grades. When it is baked wait until cooled. Then cut the cake in three in horizontal.
For the butter cream: whip butter until creamy with adding the sugar, cacao powder, 1 egg yolk, lemon juice and cinnamon. Smear evenly this cream on each layers, cover the top and the side of the round cake as well. Before serving bestrew with roughly grounded, pecan, walnut or matzos. Decorate with butter cream roses.
My grandma’s matzos ball soups
Ingredients: 200 grams of chicken breast, 250 grs peas, 1 carrot, 1 parnsnip, half onion, 1 chicken stock, salt, pepper, estragon, oil
for 6 big matzo dumplings: 250 grs matzos, 5 eggs, 100 gr butter 2 tbs parsley, salt and pepper to taste
Clean the vegetables chop them finelly. Wash the chicken and cut into 1 cm pieces. Heat the oil in a pan add chopped chicken meat and soaté for 2-to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and pour over water. Add chopped vegetables, chicken stock, salt and pepper and estragon. Cook for 15 minutes then add matzo dumplings and cook for 15 more minutes.