Tuesday, August 22, 2006


The World's Largest Matzoh Ball

*** UPDATE FOR AOL READERS - The matzoh ball at Canters that weighed 26 lbs was part of a publicity event for the movie When Do We Eat? It is not on their menu. For my matzoh ball recipe, click here. Thanks! ***

Yesterday was just a swimmingly beautiful day. It was 10 am and I was on my way to start a knock down drag out fight with the powers that be at the Department of Motor Vehicles (Result? Rachael - 1, DMV - 0. Thank you very much) when in a flash, I remembered having seen a small notice in the paper last weekend claiming : The "World’s Largest Matzoh Ball" was going to be made at Canters Deli. There was no way I was going to miss this monumental event.

Stomping down on the breaks, I made a quick illegal turn and was on my way. The DMV would have to wait, (of course, when I got there, it was me who waited. And waited. Then again, that was sort of to be expected…) I was on a mission!

There is something about Canters that I love (the full bar?) and a lot about it I don’t. (The food? The fact the air conditioning is set to "deep freeze?") But when you stick with the classics and try to keep in mind this is not how your Bubbie cooked, it can be a good thing. For instance, they make a mean matzoh ball soup. And since this event, marking the DVD launch of "When Do We Eat?" a film that sounds pretty terif, included not only the "World’s Largest Matzoh Ball" but free samples, well, I was in.

The publicist did good. There were photographers and news crews, a Guinness Book representative and a throng of hungry onlookers. Me included, of course.

The proud gentleman sitting with the famed ball, was the Director of the flick, Salvador Litvak. (Which we must all check out, ya?) but lemme just say, it was a bit startling to see first hand what he was hovering over. If I recall correctly, the "World’s Largest Matzob Ball" weighed in at a paltry 26 pounds. 26 pounds? Seemed a bit wimpy to me, but hey, it was still impressive. And apparently edible. Not that we got a taste. What we were given was a cute little cup of broth with a nice golf-ball sized matzoh ball and some Saltine crackers. The broth was golden, the ball was heavy (the way I prefer, others like them light…to each their own, right?) and the price was right. What can I say, I ate it all with relish.

So I don’t know how the actual "World’s Largest Matzoh Ball" tasted, but the soup I was given was grand, and I am certain the movie it was promoting is even more so.

Until tomorrow…



If you are looking for something to do in Los Angeles this Thursday night, my friends flick Farewell Bender, (which premiered at TriBeCa) starring Eddie Kaye Thomas is screening in Hollywood. Email me if you want to be on the list!

Schmaltz: Chicken fat. Schmaltz is used instead of butter for cooking in kosher meat dishes

Review of Canters from Zagats: “Perfect pastrami and corned beef sandwiches”, “grumpy” “100-year-old” servers, “throwback” decor – yep, this “kitschy-cool” all-night deli with a menu “longer than the Torah” has been the commissary of the Fairfax district for decades; while most mavens like being able to get “matzo balls 24 hours a day” and insist the Canter-ankerous service is “part of the charm”, kvetches chant that this “institution” is “living off its reputation.”

I always want to love Canters...but the experience is never as enjoyable as just contemplating it. The food is just so-so. That, however, sounded like a fun event to witness. I never have that much fun on my way to the DMV!!!
Canters is the best and not so-so name one deli which is better.
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