I pride myself of having introduced my family in Mexico to Quinoa as a Kosher for Passover food. The only way to top it would be to bring more innovative unleavened goods.
So I bought a case (not a can, but a full case) of Matzolah, Kosherfest’s award for Best New Passover Product of 2012. It tastes really good, like granola, but without the pesky side effects of being good for you or helping your stomach digest food. We’ll see what the reaction is.
Passover may be over. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sit back and reflect on our freedom from slavery and other important things. What important things? Simple: What is the best chocolate covered matzah you can get?
I checked out the products from two companies that are into the captive Passover food market, in which you get to sell tons of overpriced matzah to constipated Jews all over the world but only for one week a year. Impressively, both companies have been around for about 80 years. Streit’s has been using New York tap water to make their wares for 80 years or so. I really hope that Mexican bread company Fiiller has not been using Mexico City tap water to make their products, as the results could be mistaken for the eleventh plague. But enough history, let’s get to business.
Both come in similarly sized cardboard boxes. Streit’s box design milks nostalgia for all it’s worth. And their matzah is covered with milk chocolate, for all that’s worth (pun!); making it unsuitable as dessert for most of the meals of those who care about mixing (I don’t).
Fiiller uses one of those designs that scream “I’m not even trying!” and it shows. Nothing attractive about it. The color palette is uninspired, and the product photo is not even that appealing. The typography is especially awkward. I like their super retro logo though, and wish I had a t-shirt with it. Mr. Fiiller: if you are reading, let’s get in touch so you can send one my way.
This is Streit’s. It seems like they have a serious problem: The chocolate does not stick to the matzah well. It peels off. The cracks give it an unappealing look.
Look at this closeup:
Is it the dry desert where the Chupacabra roams or a chocolate matzah? The texture from the peeled off and cracked chocolate reminds me of the facial skin of a certain P. E. teacher I had in kindergarden. Or Edward James Olmos. Either way, not good. I still ate it, don’t get me wrong. Perhaps if you buy it from their factory store in the Lower East Side it doesn’t look like this. But it sure didn’t survive the trip to my bobe’s gracefully!
Below, Fiiller’s. First you will notice that it’s smaller. Clever! The reduced area gives it higher structural strength, thus reducing the odds of the chocolate cracking. The chocolate is darker, since it’s pareve. It’s also shiny, which reminds me of the facial skin of a certain… oh forget it.
More impressively, Streit’s matzah will survive a bite perfectly. The chocolate does not fall off nor crack! Surely they must be using some advanced chemistry to accomplish that. We shall learn more soon.
Taste and texture
The milk chocolate on the Streit’s matzah was fantastic. Milky yet chocolatey. Very good. Sadly, the matzah underneath felt stale, not crunchy. And little flecks of chocolate flew out after every bite, ending up on my shirt and not in my mouth.
The Fiiller’s chocolate is dark and very good. But the most impressive part is how well it sticks to the underlying matzah, giving it the feel of a high quality chocolate candy bar: crunchy and fresh. Or , to use a word that fancy food bloggers use: “crisp”. And I have 8 pages of search results to back me up. It makes for one hell of a pimple-inducing eating experience!
Streit’s has a detailed nutrition facts table. Must be a law or something. Ouch, calories and fat galore! What did you expect? It’s freaking chocolate matzah! On the upside, it provides some calcium. That’s gotta count for something, right?
Filler only lists their ingredients. No nutritional information whatsoever. Those wily Mexicans… I bet it’s every bit as unhealthy and fattening as the Streit’s one, minus the calcium due to the lack of milk. To make up for that, this one has orange juice, which I learned is the secret ingredient in Egg Matzah, which doesn’t even have egg at all! Go figure… In any case, that should add homeopathic amounts of vitamin C.
But… what is that under the ingredients list? Is that “huevo”? Looks like that’s the Fiiller secret for making the chocolate stay put on the matzah! Egg! Brilliant! Someone should get a Nobel prize for this discovery!
And the winner is…
Some people prefer milk chocolate. I love both milk and dark equally. However, Fiiller’s product has an overall better taste, look, and feel to it. It’s just awesome. The matzah reacts to bites with a satisfactory crunch and you won’t end up with half the chocolate broken up in little pieces around you all over the floor. Never underestimate the quality-junk-food-making abilities of Mexicans.
To best relive the experience, my aunt Jave (read as in Spanish: Cha-veh) made this year’s Seder even longer but more fun than usual by putting together a small skit that included all plagues. I got to be the Pharaoh and I deserve an Oscar for my performance. See the photos after the break while you play this in the background, viewer discretion advised.