This is a true story: when I was about five years old, I asked my mother how Moses and his friends had time to stop in the middle of the desert to dip their matzo in chocolate. Turns out I wasn't the only curious kid. This Passover season marks the 20th anniversary of Chuck Siegel's (the Charles of Charles Chocolates) matzo-dipping party. But the whole scene got started with apples—not dipped in honey, but in caramel. Chuck, then owner of Attivo Confections, was vacuum-sealing his candied Granny Smith apples with heavy-duty equipment. "The guy we bought the bags and the machines from was Jewish, and still is Jewish," Siegel said. "And he said, 'my daughter really wants to make some chocolate-covered matzo—can we come over and put some matzo through the enrobing line?'"
Before then, Siegel had only noshed on the Manischewitz variety of Passover chocolate, which—if I do say so myself—does as big a disservice to cacao as kosher wine does to grapes. “I’d never had matzo with good chocolate on it," Siegel said. These days, he uses an undisclosed lecithin-free artisanal chocolate (lecithin is made with soy beans, which expand when you cook them, making them "leavened" and therefore unsuitable for Passover) and Streit's Matzo (in Siegel's words, "the only brand of Matzo that I think has flavor").
The dipping party is a private affair, but the Charles Chocolates Chocolate-Covered Matzo is on sale now through the end of Passover, April 27.
About the author: Emily Stone, proprietor of Chocolate in Context, is a chocolate enthusiast, itinerant traveler, and a lover of literature who lives in Pittsburgh. She's been a movie reviewer, a reproductive health researcher, and an independent bookstore owner. Her writing has appeared in the magazines Budget Travel, Travel + Leisure, and Time Out New York, as well as on the websites World Hum and Epicurious.