Matzoh Watch: Fork in the Road Looks for Price Gouging at New York Supermarkets

You choice may be slender at some supermarkets, but expect it to fatten as Passover approaches.

Passover doesn't begin this year till March 30, but already some supermarkets downtown are trundling out their matzoh displays.

A matzoh (also spelled matzo, matzah, and matza) is an unleavened cracker that constitutes the central starch of the holiday, and an indispensible part of the seder. It's one of the plainest, blandest foods on earth--and therein lies the key to its broad appeal, not only to observant Jews, but to anyone who desires the perfect platform (and literal platform it is), for all sorts of toppings--from egg salad, to peanut butter, to smoked fish.

But Passover-gouging is a well-known phenomenon in the city, in which provisions allowed under kosher dietary laws for the holiday are hiked in price above what they would normally be, sometimes by a significant amount. So, watching your back, Fork in the Road will monitor matzoh prices as we inch toward the holiday, with a chart including a shifting group of suppliers. We'll be adding to the list as the week progresses, so check in from time to time. We'll recheck in the week preceding Passover to see if any gouging is going on. For the purpose of comparison, we've selected the plainest form of matzoh available from each supplier.

So far, it seems like the very cheapest matzohs are those imported from Israel, at about half the price. For locavores, we have our own Streit's matzohs, made right on the Lower East Side.

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