A Story about Matzo and the American Dream, Made on the Lower East Side.
When I sent out that first blog post almost two years ago, I had absolutely no idea the world that was out there, just waiting to meet me and embrace me. I wake up every morning and am so thankful that I had the courage to write that first post, even though I was so scared to put myself out in the virtual world. I hid behind my Family Foodie Chef’s Hat and for a long time, my name wasn’t anywhere in site. But every day, I fell in love with the virtual world a little more. Every day, I made new connections, who without knowing me in person, inspired me, encouraged me and empowered me to continue on this blogging journey.
In many ways, it reminded me of when I was six years old and first immigrated to the United States from Portugal. That first day of school was one of the scariest things I have ever had to do. Imagine putting yourself out into a world where you didn’t understand a word anyone was saying. My parents came to this country because they wanted to pursue the American Dream.
I am thankful every day that my parents immigrated to this country and possibly even more thankful that I had the courage to hit Publish on that very first blog post. I could never have imagined the world that would open up to me, the life long friends that I would make, and the business opportunities that would arise as a result.
I met Michael Green during a Buick Discovery Tour that took place in Tampa Bay. I was mesmerized by his presence on stage and loved hearing about his journey in Food and Wine. Michael Green is one of America’s top wine and spirits personalities, serving as Gourmet Magazine’s wine and spirits expert for 19 years. When I left the Buick Discovery Tour, I tweeted Michael and let him know just how much I enjoyed his wine pairing session. We have been good friends since that day, and I can’t imagine going a week without us chatting.
I am so excited for Michael’s new project. Streits: Matzo and the American Dream is a documentary about America’s last family-owned matzo factory, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This is a story that I can relate to and love that the factory has continued to use man power in an era where humans are replaced by machinery! (Watch the trailer for the film here)
Here is a note from Michael Green on this amazing project:
Matzo: The Original Artisan Flatbread
I know what you’re thinking: Is something wrong with my calendar? Passover has long passed, the annual obligation of matzo stories fulfilled… Michael, has your brain failed to leaven? But as I’ve learned these past several months, just because most of us no longer have matzo on our minds, for the bakers who make possible our annual encounter with matzo, the work continues.
You see, I’ve spent my spring covered in flour, producing a documentary film about Streit’s Matzo
While close to half of Streit’s sales take place in the weeks preceding Passover, the making of matzo is a year-round operation, and not only because it take six months to produce the matzo necessary to fulfill Passover orders.As I’ve come to discover, there is life for matzo beyond Passover! And the removal of the strict obligations of the holiday opens up the product to a world of possibilities. Daily matzos, as they are known, are available year-round, and come in dozens of varieties – egg and onion, organic spelt, and Mediterranean with sun dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil, to name a few. They’re across the board delicious, and being kosher, they’re produced under exacting supervision, using the purest of ingredients. Based around a recipe 3,000 years old, matzo is truly the original artisan flatbread!
Working on this film has been an incredibly fulfilling experience – coming to learn the astonishingly rich history of a true New York family business, and finding through our fundraising campaign on Kickstarter just how many people are connecting with their story. And while Passover may be done for this year, I will gladly continue to munch away at dark-chocolate covered matzo with sea salt, thank you very much!
I am so proud of Michael and all the folks involved, and honored to be one of the backers on this Kickstarter Campaign.