Israeli vs. American hand shmura matzo

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    Why do the American brand shmura matzos seem to be more popular in America? The Israeli ones are considerably cheaper and many have the hashgacha of the Badatz Eidah Hachareidis. I understand that salaries are cheaper in Israel than in the US which probably drives the cost down. But why does it seem like people want to pay more for the American ones? I assume they all start baking at the same time (so freshness should be equal)and the ingredients are all the same.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Whatever the reason, the reality is that different bakeries’ matzos taste very different from each other.

    One of the local (tri-state area) bakeries has been charging an exorbitant amount for their matzos the last few years. There are obviously enough people who are willing to and able to pay a huge premium for matzos they like better.

    For someone who can’t afford it, I believe you can get hand matzos with reliable hechsher for $15 per lb. and under in Costco and Bingo.


    Last year I made Pesach the first time, (like so many other relatively newlyweds. It was my third Pesach since I got married) I bought two pounds of Israeli machine Matzah when that was all that was available, then I bought four pounds of an Israeli hand matzah when that became available, my in-laws sent two pounds of local hand matzah, and my parents sent a Ukrainian box that contained exactly six matzahs.
    The only boxes that had any whole matzah were the local, the Ukrainian, and the machine matzah.
    That does not indicate that everyone who bought Israeli hand matzah had broken matzah, but a lot of people are not interested in the necessary trial and error.
    Additionally, if you like you matzah thin, it is virtually impossible to ship thin matzah without most or all of it crumbling.
    When NPGS in Lakewood started importing hand matzah from Israel more than a decade ago, they discovered after the first year, and now the matzah they import is as thick as ( and tastes like) a piece of plywood.

    Reb Eliezer
    Reb Eliezer

    Those who eat machine matzos, see why 18 minute matzos should be used

    18 Minute Machine Matzos


    There are by cheaper options. Everyone can decide what they want to buy. Same with meat. You can buy cheaper or prime



    Flour and water, the ingredients sound the same bit they are not.
    There are varieties of flour, and it is affected by soil and growing conditions.
    Water varies greatly. The mineral content varies a great deal.

    Was it baled in electric, gas, coal or wood fired Ovens?

    Here in the compound we’ expect to bake our annual load in our outdoor brick wood fired oven. As he has almost every year (not last year when we let no outsiders into the compound during the early stages of the pandemic) in the last 20, our Rav will be here to supervise and partake in the mixing, rolling, baking. We like thin and crisp and dark.

    and before anyone comments, the preparation area and oven are covered with a high overhead tarp to deal with prohibitions of outdoor baking of matzo…not that they had indoor ovens in Mitzrayim and Sinai.


    “There are obviously enough people who are willing to and able to pay a huge premium for matzos they like better.”

    I am one of those people

    It occurred to me that perhaps as a limud achus, maybe there is a hiddur to have tastier matzah?
    Based on Rashi Pesachim 99b כדי שיאכל מצה של מצוה לתיאבון משום הידור מצוה

    and perhaps the Geamra Pesachim 107b* רָבָא הֲוָה שָׁתֵי חַמְרָא כּוּלֵּי מַעֲלֵי יוֹמָא דְפִיסְחָא, כִּי הֵיכִי דְּנִיגְרְרֵיהּ לְלִיבֵּיהּ דְּנֵיכוֹל מַצָּה טְפֵי לְאוּרְתָּא

    Would you buy such a sevara ?

    (* Though I understood peshat there that Rava wanted to eat MORE matzah not necessarily with more of an appetitie.
    I wrote a shtickel on this years ago prompted by a disagreement we had, as to whether there was an inyan/mitzva to eat more than a kezayis of Matzah. Some achronim bring a rayah from this Gemara (avnei Nezer) that eating more is a mitzvah though others (moadim uzmanim linjed on that page) say not muchrach)


    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Interesting thought. Certainly should at least go into Oneg/Simchas Yom Tov.



    Not sure what the purpose of your last two lines were. Even if there were no indoor ovens in Mitzrayim or the midbar, if there is a gezairah mederabana not to bake outside, it makes no difference.

    But even your contention is wrong. Who said they didn’t have a small indoor oven? All cooking was outside?

    And the matzah of mitzrayim was “misharousom tzruros bsimlousom”. Never was even in an oven at all.


    The people I know who buy Matzoh in EY, and they live there, do not pay less than I do in the US for local matzoh. And I do not get the Costco Matzoh.


    We get Kommemiyus imported from Israel for years. Always whole, always fresh and crispy.


    Not sure what the purpose of your last two lines were.

    What tastes better Hand Matzah or Machine Matzah?

    meir G

    there are 3 key differences – in the us they use a diff blend of winter wheat , eretz yisroel starts earlier in america the early stock goes to hotels , farther out of town , lastly the wood is diff
    as far as the cost – for most families matzah is NOT the big pesach expense , in the next few weeks you will see that clothes, goyta, chol hamoed trips is way more – the average cost of matza for a family with 6 kids is 500-


    >> “There are obviously enough people who are willing to and able to pay a huge premium for matzos they like better.”
    > I am one of those people

    That would only apply to people who do not get public assistance or tuition reduction beyond the full cost (not full price that may include subsidizing others)


    1- IN NY I can buy MAztos baked that day. Cannot beat the freshness Israeli Matzos may have been baked in Sep or Oct and were sipped by boat.
    2- NY matzos can be made thin and thinner if you like them that way. Shatzer has 8 Matzos to the pound. Satmar, Pupa have between 8 and 9 to a pound. Almost all Israeli matzos are 5 or 6 to a pound.
    3- The taste and texture are very different. Komemiyus Matzos taste very fresh, but the flavor and texture are unique. Ya gotta like it.
    All taht said…. you can get Matzos for 10-12 dollars a pound in KRM, Moishes, Bingo….. and it is $32 in the local Bakery. Saving 20 dollars a pound- and we use nearly 40 pound’s over Pesach…. that saving does have a good fresh taste about it:)


    RabbaiM-You use 40 pounds of shmura matazo over eight days (or is that just for the seder? Can I ask how many people you are hosting? Is this normal?
    As AAQ pointed out is this normal for a family that asks for tuition breaks to eat so much hand shmura matzo (not that I am making judgments specifically about Rabbaim but curious if this is common (or anywhere near normal)


    i find that the american matzos taste better.


    re: Israeli matzos. Let’s not bad mouth it.

    We should not confuse actual quality and market forces. I recall a story that some Americans used to sneer at Sifrei Torah imported from Europe – it was of low quality. European view was: where else can you sell a low-quality Sefer if not in America?!


    mods, this my third attempt to weigh in on this. This not to sneer at Israel made matzot but caveat emptor. I am eye witness to a scene where commercialism trumped halacha on the watch of a Badat’z.
    This is a bakery where multiple doughs are worked under heavy crushing pins while the rollers roll in succession and have two tables to alternate. I understand this is a common process here. I was standing there when the 18 minute timer expired. The first table was stripped down and repapered, while the rollers wiped their stainless rolling pins with rags from a trough sink. They did not wash their hands and went to work at the next table ! This is in distinction to what I saw in NY where the cleaning of everything is done by others while the rollers wash their hands and present their 500 fingernails to a mashgiach. I personally regard the former as chometz , while I did not avoid hand matzot (I am home baker for 30 yrs) having seen what I did, I no longer use commercial hand matzoh.

    Halacha quotes many deos telling baale nesfesh to be present and/or involved in the production of ones own matzas \mitzva, this is difficult or worse if you are OOT and certainly if OOC (ON OTHER CONTINENT). Keep it local rabosai, and for anyone contemplating the jump to home baked, I have nearly given tutorials in other thread.

    Thank you for that which was omitted 


    I agree completely about local, and as noted above, we generally bake our own matzo each year.
    Mrs. CTL grew up in a family that owned a bakery and our oven for matzo was a gift from her family when we bought this home decades ago.
    Until Covid, our Rav was always here for the baking and we hosted all the children from the shul each year on a Sunday for matzo baking. I know that Chabad and other groups set up such an experience using shul kitchens, but the children come away with matzo that is not Pesachdik. What they baked here could be used for their family Seder.

    This year we are baking for the family, the Rav is coming and will bake for his family as well (we both get our second vaccination tomorrow morning). But we’ll not have others in the compound this year.


    CTL: I started 30 year ago on my ownsome with just a good familiarity with the halachos (qualified to paskin for myself. I did have some input on the phone from Rav Heineman, and a backhanded approval from the local vaad head. In EY where this is way more common, some people beat a path to me because a private operation on erev Pesach is a golden opportunity. (personally the zman is not special to me, but I do like warm matzot at the Seder. The fellow I invited brought along a Rov who is a major posek for the local chassidish kehilos. He is an experienced roller but needed some direction with my delicate whole wheat. He left with his three matzot after the zman issur chametz. That was all the plumba that I need. Had similar experiece with broad shouldered halacha whiz one YT spent back in NY.

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