Matzos Coffee, also known as Matza Café, is a European Passover treat that has become forgotten for reasons I can’t fathom, since not only is this dish deceptively simple—it’s really nothing more than its name, matzoh soaked in coffee—it’s delicious and especially loved by children.
When I was growing up, my late father had the job of making it for the family. He’d start by cracking a few pieces of matzoh with his strong jewelers hands. Then he’d pour boiling hot freshly-made coffee on top. The hot coffee melted the matzohs into a velvety softness. After that he poured on milk and sugar. In prewar Romania, where my father spent his boyhood, they used cream instead of milk, making the snack doubly delicious—and doubly fattening, as well.
1. Break one matzoh per person into small pieces. In halakhah-speak, I’d say that the pieces should be kezayis, or olive-sized, but approximation is just fine.
2. Place your crumbled matzo in a cereal bowl.
3. Pour one very hot cup of strong coffee over the bowl. Decaf is fine, but it must be very, very hot.
4. Add milk and sugar to taste. If you’re feeling decadent, substitute half-and-half; if you’re feeling puritanical, use skim milk and sweetener.
5. Eat right away with great gusto.
This article was originally published on April 17, 2014.
Carol Ungar is the author of Jewish Soul Food: Traditional Fare and What It Means, and a prize-winning writer who blogs about traditional Jewish food at Kosher Home Cooking.