How do you like your matzo balls? Light as a feather or more substantial? It’s a debate that’s been going on since the first eggy ball got dropped in a simmering vat of chicken soup.
With Passover around the corner, there are plenty of recipes for matzo balls to be found. But the Montreal Gazette goes one better. In “Sink or Swim,” the paper delves into a discussion of Talmudic intensity on the proper lightness of this iconic Passover treat.
According to the article, “Joan Nathan, the knowledgeable cook and food writer, describes the distinction this way: ‘There is a light-and-fluffy school of matzo balls, and there are those of cannonball persuasion, who hold that matzo balls should plummet to the floor.’”
Members of the floater school, who add beaten egg white and often seltzer to get their balls ethereal, disdain the rough-and-tumble sinkers. Those who like a more substantial ball note that, since Passover is a holiday devoted to unleavened bread, heavy matzo balls that sink to the bottom of the pot are more in the spirit of the celebration.
Ultimately (and unsurprisingly), the article comes to the conclusion that the matzo ball you grow up with is the one you end up loving. My mother’s were so dense that if not properly handled, they could have torn a hole in the universe, and while I would like to give her a tribute by saying I still crave a good sinker, my heart has been stolen by the floaters. Go figure.