Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Streit's...Fresh Baked Matzos Since 1925

A while ago, my friends johnder and donbert (who took these photos) and I were walking on the lower east side, when we passed Suffolk and Rivington Streets. At that intersection sits the famous Streit's Matzo Factory, still cranking out matzos by the, well, ton, since 1925.

The cool thing about Streit's is that you can peek right into the oven discharge room, as the windows are open when they're baking (because it's about 1000 degrees in there). So, we did...(and beware of shitty, cell-phone, night-time photos ahead)...

Now, the matzos come out of the oven fast - I mean, like, hundreds a minute on a conveyer belt - it reminds me of the infamous I Love Lucy episode with the chocolate candy assembly line - only these guys can move some matzos. The first guy takes the matzos, places them into stacks that will fit into the box, and moves them to the cooling rack - which is in constant motion and is on the far right in the above photo.

I started asking the guys for some matzos and we got a much better view - you can see the sheets of matzo coming out of the oven in the photo below, which is taken from inside the factory. The guy with the headphones is, I think, a stacker.

In addition to our brief tour, we each were rewarded with a still hot from the oven, world-famous Streit's matzo - real NYC street food, as you can see from this photo, taken at the famous corner of Suffolk and Rivington.

Now, I don't know how many people have tried matzos, or like matzos. Or even put up with matzos. I mean, like don't you eat them because you have to, on Passover? There are all sorts of flavors of matzos now, not like when I was a kid, when you had two choices: plain or egg. These were plain. Not everything, not salt, not sun-dried tomato, not friggin' blueberry, nothing - plain.

A hot from the oven matzo stays hot for about one minute on a chilly night. And it's good for about one minute - I mean, without butter, cream cheese, salt, etc. it's basically a bad cracker. The bread of affliction. Enjoyed and then discarded. Perfect for a minute, and only in NY, kids.


  1. could never figure out if it's pronounced 'streets' or 'strites'?

  2. I went there last October when I did a walking tour of the LES. The Jewish Russian lady who works in the store was a trip!! I got a hot matzo too, but I was so full from Katz, Knishes, bagels, etc. It was fun to see though.

  3. things are heating up over at Streit's - 7 weeks until Pesach! They have to get crackin'...
    I'd forgotten how expensive matzos can be...I was looking at a box a week or two ago in a grocery, thinking probably 99 cents or $1.99 - it was $5.00 - but I guess that's really not so bad, there's a lot of matzah in those boxes...

  4. Maybe Streit's should open up a little cafe in the factory there...they can specialize in matzoh brei...

  5. Hi there my long lost foodie friend. Just fyi I am keeping a blog on my latest project...a one acre farm! Know any restraunteurs in the SF bay area looking for top quality, organically grown veggies? Send them my way!