We’re deep into Chol haMoed Pesach and the fridge still harbors a mound of charoset.

Although probably nobody really needs a recipe for charoset it is always interesting to try different formulas. This year we prepared a Sefardic charoset that I learned from Abraham Hanono, with whom I attended a seder with a few years back when he was a molecular and cellular biology grad student here at Cornell. It is very simple with only a few ingredients, and quite delicious. Here is the procedure in his own words, click here for a printer-friendly version.

charoset recipe

One of the great things I realized about this charoset is that it lasts longer than the type made with grated apples. So my breakfast every day is matzah (Rakuesen’s of course), topped with charoset. The dates probably also have an added benefit of counteracting the cloying effect of a matzah-heavy diet on the digestive system.

There is so much charoset that I’m going to throw some into the freezer and maybe incorporate it into a muffin recipe or something after Pesach. This plan feels a little subversive but, as my husband pointed out, you could feel the same way about using left-over matzah as a stand in for a second challah.

Charoset is not very photogenic, but I have been told not to post to the website without a photo so here we go:




Matzah in the mail

An impressive pallet of matzah on sale at Wegmans.

matzah WegmansWegmans stocks Osem, Manischewitz, Yehudah and Streit’s brands of matzah.

There is even a stand with free Maxwell House Haggadot, one of the loveliest acts of corporate generosity (Kraft foods) and one that definitely snags its intended target; for my part, I am a loyal consumer of Maxwell House products.

free haggadot

However, all is not perfect in the Wegmans world of Matzah. There is one brand of matzah missing from the Wegmans line-up, Rakusen’s.

Rakusen’s is the Jewish claim to fame of my hometown in Leeds, UK. We would drive past the matzah factory every day on our way to school. The Rakusen’s matzahs are very thin and crispy, quite different to any other brand of matzah. Once you have tasted Rakusen’s, eating the other kind is like chomping your way through corrugated cardboard. Plus these matzot come wrapped in a plastic wrapper inside the box which seems a lot more hygenic and tamper-resistant than stuffing the matzot straight into the cardboard container.

In past years, Wegmans has stocked Rakusen’s matzah at its flagship store in Rochester and once even in the Ithaca store. But not this year. I contacted Wegmans customer services online requesting them to stock this brand and received a standard “Thank you for your comments” response.

Thinking that this would be the last I heard about this as my comment disappeared into the interwebs I was surprised a few days later when a letter arrived at my house containing the following reply:


Pretty prompt and courteous customer service!

But, dear reader, this left yours truly with a dilema. Where to obtain Rakuen’s matzah?

It turned out that a grocery chain named ShopRite is stocking Rakusen’s matzah. Unsurprisingly, this option was hampered by a feasibility issue, namely:

ShopRite locationor, as the ShopRite store locator put it:

0 stores

So we turned to Amazon. Not without trepidation, would our order arrive in time for Pesach? Happily, only a couple of days later, this box arrived on our doorstep:

matzah package

Rakusen’s matzah definitely makes the tedious chametz-free days of Pesach a little more gastronomically pleasant and I was really happy to be able to acquire some.

matzah packageֻ unpack

Perhaps some of you will feel like adding your voice and also requesting this product from Wegmans in the future.

Until then I can recommend that Matzah in the mail is the way to go!