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February 9, 2015

Vermatzah

by Anne Paddock

Vermatzah: Sustenance For The Body; Fuel For The Soul

There is matzah and there is Vermatzah: a round handmade wood-fired alternative to the mass-produced boxes of square-shaped matzah on store shelves. Made in Vermont by Naga Bakehouse – a small, village bakery perched on a rock edge in Middletown Springs where savory whole grain artisan breads are baked in a wood-fired oven for folks who care about good food.

Once a year in the weeks leading up to the Jewish holiday of Passover, Naga Bakehouse starts turning out Vermatzah: the best tasting matzah on the market. Crispy, flavorful, and delicious describe this very large cracker.

VermatzahMatzah, an ancient round unleavened bread is a symbol of freedom, simplicity and the return of Spring – a metaphor for getting back to the basics. Naga Bakehouse applied these same principles when they started making Vermatzah seven years ago after combining two words: Vermont and Matzah to make Vermatzah.vermatzah_dough

Every piece of Vermatzah is handmade with a blend of organic Vermont wheat and ancient emmer (a nutty tasting grain also known as faro used by their ancestors), grown under the best sustainable agricultural practices from harvest through baking. Click here to see a Vermatzah being made.1795792_10153794735580394_1498531366_o

Why is Vermatzah round? Good question. For the past 5,000 years, matzah has been hand shaped and irregular. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution when labor processes were replaced with machines in the late 1800’s that matzah became uniform and square with a recognizable pattern. Vermatzah is a return to the past with each piece hand rolled out, patterned and baked in a wood fired oven.1836709_10153754356365394_752681279_o

Vermatzah is sold two ways: 6 pieces wrapped in parchment paper, tied and carefully placed in a box ($18) or in a brightly colored metal tin ($29.95) with an ancient emmer grain packet enclosed, plus shipping. Expensive, yes but worth it once a year. You’ve never tasted matzah that tastes like Vermatzah. Orders can be placed on-line beginning today at www.vermatzah.com. But, hurry because this artisan matzah’s popularity has soared and  sells out quickly (the last order date is March 22, 2015)…and you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Vermatzah!Vermatzah-BoxedVermatzah’s popularity has grown immensely in the past few years. As a result, the company is hoping to purchase an integrated system of equipment that consists of – a dough divider/rounder and a dough press which will enable their hand made production to operate faster and better. Click on the following link to learn more about their Kickstarter campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1086129867/the-vermatzah-project

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