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Touring the Manischewitz Factory Part 2

This is part two in our post about the Manischewitz factory tour. Part one is a tour of the Manischewitz matzah production.

Manischewitz factory matzah line

The beginning of the matzah journey at the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The Manischewitz factory has four main production lines:

-Matzah baking (where they also make Tam Tam crackers and the “crush” products like farfel, matzah meal and cake meal)

-Cookie baking (macaroons, mundel bread, etc.)

-Dry line (soup mixes, latke mix, canister products – they have 5 production lines for this)

-Wet line (gefilte fish – many brands, chicken stock, soups)

The Manischewitz factory soup line

Packaging instant soup at the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

We got to see them packing instant soup, behind a plastic curtain because it’s not kosher for Passover.

They were very busy boxing up homestyle potato latke mix at the Manischewitz factory while we were there. We didn’t see them drying out the potatoes, which apparently they do there too (they showed us the machine). Instead we saw them taking the dry ingredients from big buckets and packaging it into envelopes and then boxes.

The Manischewitz factory is producing latke mix

Homestyle latke mix that went from a barrel, to this machine at the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

 

Latke mix at the Manischewitz factory

Packets of latke mix come out into buckets for boxing at the Manischewitz factory. An inspector randomly weighs them. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The Bakery Line

We unfortunately missed the bakery line, which produces cookies about six months of the year. They had finished their production a few weeks earlier, which is a bummer considering you can eat them fresh off the conveyor belt when it’s running. Then again, I’m not a macaroon fan, but the idea of eating it that way is appealing.

Manischewitz factory lobby has old products to show

The Manischewitz factory has packaging from some of its products from long ago. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Warehouse area

In the warehouse area, we walked by huge buckets of minestrone soup mix. It was very tempting to just take a handful. But the bags were sealed so that wasn’t even an option.

Manischewitz factory minestrone soup in barrels

If you eat minestrone soup, this may look familiar from the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

We learned about the wet line as well. They were making chicken stock while we were there, and while we didn’t see it, we could smell it. It didn’t smell very good, all those boiling bones.

the Manischewitz factory's chicken soup stock

They were making Manischewitz chicken stock at the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

They were getting ready to make gefilte fish. They own several other brands, including Rokeach and Mrs. Adler’s, so depending on what recipe you like, they probably make it. They get their fish from the Great Lakes, and use combinations of pike, carp, cisco and I missed the other two. Some of the fish arrives in fillets, but mostly it’s been harvested, processed, minced and then frozen. The fish used to arrive live on trains, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

The Manischewitz factory makes all these brands.

These are the brands owned and produced by the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Our tour guide Mike Schrob, the director of planning and logistics, told us that there’s very little difference in taste between using fresh or frozen fish, and using fillet versus minced. It all gets mashed up anyway. They’ve done taste tests. It doesn’t matter much what combinations you use either, unless you just use cisco alone, as that tastes fishier. Otherwise, it just matters how much salt, pepper, dried garlic and onion is used in the recipe. So there you go.

After packaging, the wet line products have to sit in the warehouse for 10 days, so they can test for microbes.

This factory makes more than 400 products (but not the wine). The wet and dry lines run the whole year, and the matzah products are made for 10 months. This is the global headquarters and the only factory.

All this is thanks to Rabbi Manischewitz.

Manischewitz factory founder Rabbi Manischewitz

The founder of the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

If you go:

The Manischewitz factory books group tours, which take about 90 minutes.

There’s parking at the Manischewitz factory, but you won’t get to park as close as the USDA inspector. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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