What's in Season: Shmura Matzoh for Passover
Hand-crafted special matzoh, all made in Brooklyn
The Seder is the centerpiece of Passover. For some who observe and celebrate this holiday, it is particularly meaningful to replace factory-made matzo, the unleavened bread so essential for the Seder meal, with shmura -- or shmurah -- matzo. Shmura means watched from the harvest, which signifies that every step of the process of making this matzo, from harvesting the grain to the final baking, has been supervised by a rabbi. It also means that when the bread is being made in its small batches, the flour and water are kept in separated cubicles as extra insurance that there is no premature contact between them until the last possible moment, thus preventing any leavening.
There are very few shmura matzo bakeries in New York City, all of which are in Brooklyn (there are also 3 bakeries in upstate New York, one in New Jersey, and one in Chicago). Only one has a website and some of the bakeries will not provide prices or any other details over the phone. Plus, with limited supply and a big demand, production can sell out early. Plus this matzo costs much more than the factory-made kind sold in supermarkets but remember that this is artisanal.
If you're interested in buying from these bakeries and want to be sure of getting what you want, call first and place your order and do so soon. All close early on Friday and are closed on Saturday. Prices are approximate and may be subject to change.
You can order shumura matzo online from the Lubavitch Matzah Bakery in Crown Heights. See below for their web address.
Shmura matzo imported from Israel, in both plain and whole wheat, is sometimes available at NYC Whole Food markets. Fresh Direct is also offering it this year at $44.99 a pound (six pieces). Theirs is baked locally in Kiryas Yoel under strict rabbinic supervision and is made from organic whole grain flour.
- Chareidim Shmurah Matzoh Bakery
4312 New Utecht Avenue, Borough Park
$23.00/pound Open 10 AM -10 PM
- Lubavitch Matzah Bakery
460 Albany Avenue, Crown Heights
Open Sunday to Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
- Satmar Shmura Hand-Matzoh Bakery
427 Broadway, Williamsburg
$22/pound; $24/pound for a special heimieshe mayleh variety Open 8 AM - 7 PM
- Kehilath Yakov Matzo Bakery
346 Broadway, Williamsburg
$22/pound Open 8 AM - 8 PM
Not a Brooklyn Passover bakery, but a New York City treasure is Russ & Daughters located on Manhattan's Lower East Side at 179 East Houston Street. They have Shmura matzoh for $33.00 a box.