This past weekend, I hosted the first (and maybe the last) annual matzah tasting. We tasted six different types of matzah: egg, grape, whole wheat, thin tea (go figure) milk chocolate- covered egg, and dark chocolate-covered regular.
I invited my friends Leah and Ben to join me as judges. We scored the matzahs using a score sheet adapted from the pie-judging sheet from the American Pie Council’s pie competition. Each matzah could receive up to four points in the first six categories, and up to eight in the last one. These were the categories:
A Initial Appearance – Color? Evenly Browned?
B After-snap – Clean Break?
Easy to break down the middle?
C Flavor – Strength and balance of flavor
appropriate for type of matzah
D Mouthfeel – Appropriate consistency
E Hole size – Uniform? Right size? Perc test with jam
F Aftertaste – Wait a minute or two and see whether
there is a pleasant or unpleasant aftertaste
G After scoring for appearance and taste, consider the
memorableness of this matzah. To what degree does
it impress you? What about general eatability?
Here are the results of our testing:
The judges’ comments: The first type, the egg matzah, wasn’t crunchy the way we think of matzah. The grape matzah tasted very bland and not at all like grape. One of the judges actually thought that the grape was the egg and the egg was the grape. The whole wheat was the best matzah in terms of crispiness, although one judge found it “too hard, very crunchy, and rough.” Overall, its taste and aftertaste were not very good.
The thin tea was the best in terms of taste and crispiness. It did not dissolve in one’s mouth like the other ones had. The dark chocolate matzah had a fairly good contrast between the chocolate and the matzah; one could tell that it was matzah. One judge found it to be too thick and the chocolate too strong. With the milk chocolate, on the other hand, the chocolate was way too strong. It completely overpowered the matzah.
If you are looking for matzah to be the bread of affliction, buy the whole wheat. As one judge said, “Warning: Do not eat this without a topping!” If you are looking for matzah that tastes good, buy a chocolate matzah. If you are looking for something that doesn’t taste too strong and is still crispy, buy the thin tea.