The Shmooze

The Great Matzo Ball-Eating Contest

By Jake Marmer

The question is not: How is this night is different from all other nights? Rather: How many matzo balls can you eat? Those who are in need of inspiration in this department may greatly benefit from watching Faye Lederman’s documentary “Hold the Soup,” which is now being featured at the Seattle’s Jewish Film Festival.

As the film will remind you, to make your grandmother, aunts and in-laws truly kvell, you don’t have to melodiously recite the Haggadah, or even memorize the four questions by heart. Just eat and praise the cook. Do it for them.

The film follows a matzo ball-eating contest held at the Friars Club in Manhattan a few years back. You may already be familiar with the illustrious Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. That was where the Friar’s Club took its cue, and then truly transcended the genre.

Without giving away too much of the film’s breathtaking plot, I’ll only say that one does not need to be Jewish to know how to properly inhale matzo balls, though a certain familiarity does count for much.

Throughout the film, look out for numerous tips and tricks of efficient and elegant gluttony and you will surely make splash at the Passover table this year.

Bon appetite!

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