For 20 years, Ashley Albert thought matzo had possibilities beyond Passover. She had dreams of turning the “unsexy, flavorless cracker” of her childhood into something more flavorful, versatile, and universal. With the Matzo Project, her dream has become reality.
Albert and business partner Kevin Rodriguez grew up going to summer camp together. “We think of ourselves as gastronomic Jews,” Albert says. “We’re not in any way religious, but I would have matzo every year, the same way I would buy eggnog for Christmas.” Once they started getting their flavored matzo (a revolutionary idea for a product that dates back to ancient Egypt) into the hands of consumers, they knew they had a hit on their hands.
One of Albert’s favorite aspects of their products is the packaging: an illustrated composite of her and Rodriguez’s “very similar” Jewish grandmothers. The design became even more dynamic when they decided to make grandma’s glasses an open window to the crackers. “It made her completely ethnically ambiguous,” says Albert. “People come up to me and they’re like, ‘this is like my Jamaican Grandma, or Korean grandma, or Italian grandma.’ She’s everybody’s grandma!”
It’s important to note that Matzo Project crackers are kosher, but not kosher for Passover—which mandates production under strict conditions. “Our whole goal is to get our matzo touched by as many non-Jewish hands as possible!” Albert says. “We don’t want to be associated with a holiday. We really want it to be something like rye bread or bagels, on the shelf year-round.”
CINNAMON-SUGAR MATZO CHIPS + MELTED BLUE CHEESE + HOT HONEY + APPLES
“You can put these in the oven, and they’ll stay crispy! And the diamond shape of the chips works really well with cheese.”
SALTED MATZO + SPICY PIMENTO CHEESE
“I spent all last summer perfecting my pimento cheese recipe, and it’s just the best together.”
EVERYTHING-FLAVORED MATZO + MARINATED SHEEP’S MILK FETA + CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
“I can eat the whole jar and the whole bag of this stuff by myself. It’s the best.”