If you don’t celebrate Passover, you might not have noticed that, in some parts of the United States, it’s pretty hard to get a box of matzo this year (and impossible to get a box of Tam Tams). That’s not good, because with leavened foods off the menu for observant Jews for the eight days of Passover, matzo is a staple and used for everything from religious ceremonies to my mother’s (and everyone else’s mother’s) famous matzo pizza.
According to the New York Times, the problem was particularly acute in the Bay Area (registration required). As with the global food shortages that are just beginning to be felt here, there are a range of reasons behind the low supplies, although a significant one might be that two large retailers with a big presence in that area, Trader Joe’s and Costco, declined to stock the flatbreads this year.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there is lots of finger-pointing among retailers: “‘Nobody knew that Costco didn’t order it,’ said Aviad Leizer, manager of Oakland Kosher Market. ‘And vendors didn’t raise their orders. … Everybody came over here and to the other places.’”
That doesn’t help folks like the Oakland resident quoted who is down to his last box. But he’s persevering. “It just means I’m on a high-protein and salad-type diet,” he said. “If I go Atkins, then I’m OK.”