For the Christmas Eve event held in various cities in North America (Montreal, New York etc.) targeted at young Jewish singles, see Matzo Ball.
Matzah balls, also known as קניידלעך kneydlach (pl.) (kneydl, singular) in Yiddish, (also kneydls, matza balls, matzoh balls, or matzo balls) are a traditional Ashkenazi (East-European Jewish) dumpling made from matzah meal (ground matzo).
Matzah balls

Matzah balls in soup

Some recipes may add a number of ingredients, such as stock and seasonings (for taste) or seltzer or baking powder (for fluffiness). Traditionally, the fat had been schmaltz (chicken fat), which imparts a distinctive flavor, but vegetable oils or margarine may be used. Butter is not used as milk products are not allowed to be used in chicken (meat) soup in accordance with the rules of kashrut. There are also recipes for fat-free Matzah balls.[1]

The balls are shaped by hand and dropped into a pot of salted, boiling water or chicken soup. Keeping one's hands wet is vital when handling the sticky dough. The balls swell during the boiling time of approximately 20 minutes, and come out light or dense, depending on the precise recipe. Matzah balls are roughly spherical and can range anywhere from a couple of centimetres in diameter to the size of a large orange, depending on preference. They can be frozen and reheated in soup.

Matzah balls are usually served with chicken broth as matzah ball soup.

Matzah balls are particularly popular during Passover, when matzah meal is often used in observant Ashkenazi Jewish households as flour may not be used. (Those Ashkenazi Jews with the custom against gebrochts, however, would not eat them on Passover — see the gebrochts article for more.) They are also eaten at other times of year, especially on Shabbat, as a quintessential comfort food.

According to the IFOCE, Joey Chestnut holds the world record for eating Matzo balls; he ate 78 matzoh balls in 8 minutes.[2]

The largest Matzah ball prepared weighed 267 pounds and was 29.2 inches long. Setting the Guinness record, the ball was made from "1,000 eggs, 80 pounds of margarine, 200 pounds of matzah meal, and 20 pounds of chicken base." [3] It was made by Chef Anthony Sylvestri of Noah's Ark Deli to raise awareness for a charity basketball game.[4]

See also


  1. Vegetarian Fatfree Passover Recipes
  2. International Federation of Competitive Eating - IFOCE
  3. Weiner, David. "Giant Matzah Ball Sets Guinness World Record". Huffington Post. 
  4. World's biggest matzo ball unveiled in NYC: 267-pound ball gobbled up by hungry lower East Siders


sv:Kneidlach yi:קניידלעך

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