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.
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.