Monday, November 1, 2010

World Record Matzo Ball Attempt This Weekend!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Chef Jon Wirtis of Shlomo and Vito's New York Delicatessen will attempt to set the record for the world's largest matzo ball at the Jewish Food Festival this weekend.

The previous record was set last year by Noah’s Ark Deli in New York City with a 267-pound matzo ball. Wirtis will attempt to shatter that record with a 500-pound matzo ball.

We reached Noam Sokolow, owner of Noah’s Ark Deli, by phone this morning, and he says fashioning a monster matzo ball can be far trickier than one might think. When asked what it took to set the record, Sokolow’s instantaneous response was: “Lots of planning, lots of man hours and lots of patience.”

Sokolow said he didn’t have the records that showed how much his attempt cost, or how many pounds of flour he used. What he could easily remember, however, was how difficult setting that record turned out to be.

The pot used to boil his monster matzo ball had to be custom-made, and it took a team of workers to handle the preparation and cooking. Some attempts fell apart before reaching the pot; others couldn’t withstand the boiling. In all, it took Sokolow’s team 18 tries to come up with a recipe and process that worked.

“It wasn’t just a matter of assembling the ball; it also had to be edible,” said Sokolow, adding that his matzo ball was donated to help feed the homeless. “I hope these guys know what they’re up for,” he said, refering to the Tucson attempt.

As for advice or tricks that might give the Tucson team a leg up? Fuggedaboutit. Sokolow wasn’t willing to offer anything that could help break a record he set just last year.

Wirtis has been busy fine-tuning the plans for his attempt and has made a 100-pounder as a warm up. Apparently his custom-made pot will weigh about four tons when filled with the 600 gallons of soup and the 500-pound matzo ball. Read all about it here.

Wirtis wasn’t available for comment today. We're expecting a call from him tomorrow.

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