I had a hankering for matzah and since Passover would begin soon, I assumed I’d find my favorite kind at my local grocery.
The shelf was empty. The front shelf, where just the other day there were several boxes. After much searching, which was reminiscent of searching for the Afikomen, I found a box tucked away in another part of the store, away from holiday foods. The box was so big I imagined I’d still be eating matzah a year from now.
I asked an employee if there was any more matzah.
“Matzah, you know, unleavened bread, eaten at Passover.”
He motioned to a cashier. “Do we have any…,” then he looked back at me and said, “what was it called again?”
The cashier said, “I don’t know. You should try our other store.”
“Do you know if they carry Streit?” I asked.
“Is that beer?”
I left and tried the other store, which also had only one very large box.
Today I returned to the first store, looking for something else and found a smaller box of matzah in the Kosher aisle. It looked like the kind I had grown up with. The packaging said that the company had been around “since 1888.” I hoped the matzah hadn’t been on the store shelf since then.
Then I shopped for other things at a store that is a little out of my way. On a whim I asked, “Do you have any matzah?”
“What?” asked the store clerk.
She asked a second clerk, who also said, “What?”
The second clerk asked a third clerk, who pulled it from the shelf.
When I got home, I did a compare/contrast. A taste from box #1 revealed the product could have been leftover from my youth or even from 1888. As for box #2, it had a toasty, with a hint of burnt, flavor.
Guess that’s the way the matzah crumbles.