NPR logo Desperately Seeking Tam Tams

City Living

Desperately Seeking Tam Tams

Where are the Tam Tams? Laura Silver/NPR hide caption

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Laura Silver/NPR

They're hexagonal-shaped crackers that have a lot more flavor than matzoh (chalk it up to the additional sugar and oil) and they've been on — or near — my family's Passover table for as long as I can remember. And stocked in my parents' pantry throughout the year.

Matzah is a must on Passover, but there's no religious obligation to eat a Tam Tam. Representatives from the company that makes them, Manischewitz, didn't get back to me on the origin of the name, but I suspect it may have something to do with the Hebrew/Yiddish word "ta'am," meaning "taste" and by extension, "tasty."

This year, Tam Tams are short supply, and as part of research for our segment on the crisis, I did some calling around. One store deep in Brooklyn said they had the whole-wheat version in stock (I've tried those in the past and decided they weren't worth the trip). Then a guy at an Upper West Side kosher grocery said he had several flavors, so I ran up there to buy out his stock.

It was too good to be true. Kosher-for-Passover crackers? Yes. But not Tam Tam brand. Not the familiar, yellowish hexagons. I went to a nearby D'Agostino's grocery store. There was a whole endcap of Passover-compliant goods. Minus the Tams Tams.

The typical saying at the end of the Passover meal is "Next year in Jerusalem."

Now, there's something else to look forward to in the year to come.