It's almost Passover, that mystical time of year when all men's thoughts turn to matzo. The unleavened wonder bread serves all sorts of symbolic purposes during Passover, but you don't need a specific religious reason to enjoy it in its most delicious format: matzo ball soup.
We sat down with the matzo ball soup at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen to learn more about competing with mom's version, creating the perfect texture and having really big balls.
SFist: Matzo ball soup is very personal for a lot of people. How do you deal with that?
MBS: It's true. The matzo ball soup your grandma or mom makes is always going to be better than I am. Hands down. You know why? Because your mom or grandma made it. If you like me better than you like your own mother, I'm not sure I want to be inside your mouth. Because you might be kind of a jerk.
SFist: What makes a good matzo ball soup, besides being made by a family member?
MBS: First off, the chicken broth. It should be really flavorful and chicken-y. And the texture of the ball itself is really important. I strive to be really fluffy and light but to retain some substance too. It's a constant balancing act, and people have differing opinions about texture and mouth-feel and get pretty worked up about it all. I also have some carrots and a few noodles, but I like to keep it simple.
SFist: What do you have to say to people who are skeptical of you? I mean, you are basically just a ball of matzo in chicken broth.
MBS: I don't feel like I have to justify myself. You either get it, or you don't. Matzo ball soup is basically chicken noodle soup for Jews. It's comfort food. It gets you through a bad day when you just got fired or your girlfriend dumps you or you're fleeing a really nasty Egyptian Pharaoh. Somehow the simple act of getting some matzo in your mouth just makes you feel like everything is going to be okay.
SFist: Is it? Is it going to be okay? Sometimes I'm not so sure.
MBS: Yes. It will. Definitely. Without a doubt.
SFist: That totally worked!
MBS: Told ya.
SFist: Sooo, we've heard a lot about the size of your ball(s).
MBS: Is that a question?
SFist: Um, no. Sorry.
MBS: If that's a question, the answer is ... yes.
MBS: OH YEAH. Huge.
SFist: Passover is coming up. What do you have planned?
MBS: Passover is really fun. You get together with family, you drink a lot of wine, and you get to give thanks for not being a slave in Egypt. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy with family and friends. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy eating me. That's the goal.
SFist: Sounds like a plan. Happy Passover!
MBS: Right back atcha.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, 3150 - 24th Street, S.F.