Matzo bread and crackers are both both thin, flat baked goods. Both are made from a combination of flour and water, and both are usually unsweetened. Matzo bread is an ancient kind of unleavened bread that is associated with Jewish culture and is a key part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Crackers are a common snack food not associated with any particular religion. Some well-known varieties of crackers include saltines and Ritz brand crackers.
What Is Matzo Bread?
Matzo (also spelled matzoh or matzah) bread is an ancient form of unleavened bread, meaning that it is made without the use of yeast or any other rising agent. According to commonly-accepted Jewish law, as explained in a March 2010 article on the Arutz Sheva website, only five grains can be used: wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt. Typically, matzo is made from wheat flour and water. The dough must be baked within 18 minutes of being mixed to prevent rising.
Different Kinds of Matzo
The most common type of matzo is hard and crispy; however, matzo can also be a soft flatbread resembling pita bread. Matzo shmurah is made from grain that has been carefully watched from the time it is harvested; it can be hard or soft. This is the kind of matzo that is eaten at the Passover seder (celebration). Matzo for eating at other times may be made with eggs, wine or fruit juice. There is even chocolate-covered matzo for children.
What Are Crackers?
Crackers are thin, crispy wafers that are commonly eaten as snack foods. Like matzo, they are made using flour and water. However, crackers are not associated with any particular religion or holiday. They can be made using a leavening agent such as baking soda, may be made from any grain and and are made using a wide range of seasonings. Crackers are usually bite-sized and are commonly eaten with cheese or peanut butter.
Different Kinds of Crackers
Crackers can be either salty or sweet. Some well-known salty crackers are saltines, which are square and flat, and oyster crackers, which are small, puffy, six-sided crackers that are often added to soup. Rice crackers are popular Asian crackers that are made from rice flour. Common seasonings for salty crackers include cheese, butter, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Two popular kinds of sweet crackers include graham crackers, which are large and flat, and animal crackers, which are shaped like zoo animals.
References and ResourcesIArutz Sheva; In Time for the Holiday: What is Matzah? How Is It Baked?; Hillel Fendel; March 18, 2010
Food Timeline: Cookies, Crackers, and Biscuits