When I asked the family how they eat Vermatzah they grumbled that they hardly get to enjoy any, because all of it is sent to customers.
“The product is as delicate as porcelain, but if we are lucky to break one, we eat it,” says Julie. How best to enjoy Vermatzah? Julie argued for eating it plain and Ellis suggested butter and jam, while Tikko recommended soaking it in soup. I suggest serving it with Charoset. Eaten as part of the Seder, the word comes from Cheres—meaning clay. The Charoset’s texture and color symbolize the mud that the Israelite used to make bricks for building the pyramids. One does not need a recipe for Charoset: It is a combination of fresh fruit like apples, pears, quinces and bananas; dry fruits like dates, raisins and apricots; and nuts like almonds, pecans or walnuts.
As for the amount, it is said that there is nothing like too much Charoset. Here is my method, adding the traditional wines of the Seder into the Charoset, mixing in spices and using exotic nuts, to make a “spiritual” Charoset. ~Yael Dolev
8 ounces white raisins
¼ cup orange liqueur
3 ounces currants or wild dry blueberries
1/8 cup cherry liqueur or Port
3 Granny Smith apples
¼ cup white wine
1/8 cup Cognac or brandy
13 ounces dates, pitted, or pressed baking dates
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
½ teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ teaspoon clove, ground
10–15 ounces nuts (pistachios, pine nuts and cashews), roasted
- Soak raisins overnight in orange liqueur and currants in cherry liqueur.
- In a food processor combine apples, pears, dates, white wine, Cognac and spices. Process till all shredded and mixed. Don’t over process to an applesauce texture as you want a chunky consistency.
- Add raisins, currants and nuts and mix well.
- Taste to adjust flavors but make sure you leave something for the Seder evening…
Edible Berkshires is a local, independently owned publication dedicated to covering the unique culinary culture of Western Massachusetts.