My kids were very excited to eat matza at their kindergarten seders, mainly because the teachers slathered it with chocolate spread. I don’t mind matza but I can’t say I’m as eager as they are to crunch on this unleavened bread for the week of Passover.
Yet out there, across the oceans and on the other side of the world, it would seem matza consumption is on the rise.
Without million dollar advertisements and commercials espousing the crunchy blandness this product contains, matza exports from Israel in 2012 amounted to over $19 million. That’s a 21 percent increase from the previous year.
The Israel Export Institute reports that 53 countries import Israeli-made matza.
A whopping 60% (totaling $11 million) of the exported over-sized brittle cracker goes to the United States. While local matza production facilities once triumphed over the blue-and-white made matza varieties, today the trend has turned around. The Israel Export Institute says the US demand rose by 50% from the previous year.
Also asking for more Israeli matza was the European Union which recorded a 13% increase, totaling $4.5 million.
A few fun facts you should know: Each regular square of manufactured matza contains 800 holes and costs the eater 150 calories. On average, Israelis consume one kilogram of matza each – and we only celebrate seven days of the holiday!
The calorie count, of course, is before you slather liver/chocolate/jam/cream cheese/butter/honey on your matza. It’s before you turn your matza slice into matza pizza.
Passover is a holiday for gaining weight. Enjoy the good food!