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Passover 2016: 6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Matzo

by Paul Goldman /

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TEL AVIV — Millions of Jews around the world will start celebrating Passover on Friday — a tradition that recalls the Exodus, or how Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.

MatzoSamantha Okazaki / TODAY

A central part of week-or-so holiday is matzo — unleavened bread that symbolizes how Jews left in such haste that they were not able to wait for their bread dough to rise.

It is traditionally served with hard-boiled eggs, horseradish, a vegetable and wine as part of the Passover Seder dinner and then during the next week.

In preparation for Passover, NBC News visited Matzot Aviv, a company that has been making the flatbread in what is now Tel Aviv since 1887.

Its vice president is Roy Wolf, a sixth-generation matzo-maker who shared a few little-known facts about the iconic food:

  • Only 10 factories in the world produce matzo — three in Israel, two in the United States and the rest in Europe.
  • For a matzo to be considered kosher — produced or prepared according to Jewish dietary laws — it cannot take more than 18 minutes in total to prepare and bake the flatbread.
  • Each matzo has about 800 holes that prevent the dough from rising. Without the holes you get pita.
  • Matzot Aviv ships their product all over the world, including to the island of Wallis in the South Pacific, which is home to one Jew;
  • The factory produces 26,000 matzos per hour.
  • Matzos have only 120 calories each — it's what you put on them.

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