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Bakeshop and Local Rabbi Join Forces to Make 16th Century Matzah for Passover

“He sent me a text,” says baker Kim Boyce

Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Kim Boyce is the veteran baker behind the whole-grain-focused Bakeshop in Northeast Portland, and this year, she’s making a special matzah with a recipe dating back to 1503 for Passover.

“A local rabbi, Rabbi Brian, sent me me a text,” she says. It read:

Passover is always a time for me to think about religious freedom. This year, with the rise in anti-semitism and hate crimes, it is more poignant. I feel the need to re-awaken to how precious religious freedom is.

Boyce was intrigued, but even more so when Rabbi Brian revealed the historic recipe and the story behind it. In the 1500s, a woman in Northern Spain named Angelina de Leon secretly made matzah, which had been outlawed with Judaism during the Spanish Inquisition. Her maid saw her and testified against her in court, and while de Leon’s fate is not entirely clear, the court documents contained the ancient recipe.

Boyce tells Eater she prepared a test batch and was pleased with “the slightly sweet flatbread” and the “bit of kick” from all the black pepper. She’s giving it a Northwest twist with Jacobson Salt and “rolling out sheets and sheets of it.”

The matzah will be available at Bakeshop April 5 through 9, and 12 through 16, and Rabbi Brian and Boyce are holding a matzah-making workshop April 2. A portion of the sales from the class and the matzah will be donated to ACLU.


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