Gluten-Free Oat Matzahs (Matzos) -- IMPORTANT - RECOMMENDED SELLERS AND PRICES (מצות שבולת שועל -- כשר לפסח ולסדרים)
I write this post for every Jewish person celebrating Pesach, but especially for the benefit of the thousands of people who wish to fulfill the mitzvah of eating matzah this Pesach (Passover/פסח) but who are unable to eat wheat matzahs, whether due to their having celiacs, having a wheat-allergy, or are gluten-intolerant in general.
Dayan Rabbi Ephraim Kestenbaum of Golders Green in London has been producing certified gluten-free matzos for about twenty-years. The matzos that are sold all are shmura and can be used to fulfill the mitzvah (commandment) of eating matzah during the sedarim (seders). In addition, these matzos have a high-standard of kashrus and are certified kosher with hashgachos from a number of good hashgacha organizations (kosher certifications).
Machine-made gluten-free oat shmura matzos (oat matzahs) (מצה שמורה) come in 1-pound (lb.) boxes (16 ounces) and include approximately 10 - 13 matzos per-box.
Hand-made gluten-free oat shmura comes 3 per-box and is about .767 pounds for the box.
Matzah meal that is gluten-free is also available.
My recommendation is to buy the machine-made as there is more quantity and weight per-box and the machine-made matzos are more stable (i.e. more likely to stay together). The machine-made matzos tend to have a pretty good "track-record" of staying together, though the hand-made are more likely to be fragile.
RECOMMENDED SELLERS AND PRICES:
Recommended Price: According to the producers of the oat-matzah, the recommended retail price is $23 in the U.S., 70 shekalim in Israel, and £ 13 in England. This price doesn't included the packing and shipping costs (which, for a cross country shipment of 10 boxes, should be roughly in the range of $10 - $20 - you can check with UPS or FedEx to get the prices, but can vary somewhat, based on type of packaging, where it's packaged, etc.).
Distributors are located in the U.S., Canada, England, Israel, Australia, Belgium, and South Africa.
For Rabbi Kestenbaum's matzos, there is a list of distributors located internationally, which can be found on the oat matzah website, at the distributor section.
U.S. RECOMMENDED DISTRIBUTOR:
There are many distributors in the U.S.
For Shipping Anywhere in the United States, please contact Karen Beleck - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 410 358 9580. fax: 410 764 0777
Karen has great prices and I highly recommend you contact her if you are interested in buying gluten-free matzos. She is also careful to charge for shipment after sending the package out, so that the shipment price reflects the actual cost to ship. Also, if you e-mail her, she can send you all the important information via e-mail.
KAREN'S PRICE: The prices for the matzah have gone down.
Matzah produced in July 2008 is now sold for $15 per box. The newer batch of matzos, produced in December 2008 cost $22 per-box. (offered on sale)
If you're ordering last minute or wish to buy the matzah locally (i.e. within a couple days of Pesach), I'd recommend going to the distributor list, which is pretty extensive, and look up where you can buy the matzos.
If it turns out your local place also has a good price, you can pick it up locally without shipping if that suits you better. Also, just because there are a few distributors that I recommend, it is important to note that I have not looked at the prices the matzos are sold at by many of the distributors and therefore would recommend looking at the list to find other distributors which may also have good prices who may be in your local area.
I believe that the Kollel store in Lakewood has good prices:
Kollel Food Store
(R' Avrohom Moshe & R' Chaim)
411 Clifton Avenue
Lakewood NJ 08701
Tel: 732 363 8102
Fax: 732 363 1475
For Worldwide Internet and orders, contact : www.GlutenFree.co.il
or +(972) -3-919-1025
Cost per-box: 70 shekalim
See their website for the cost of shipping. They do subtract the 16.5% tax for international (i.e. orders that are shipped to areas outside of Israel).
If you have any questions about distributors and orders, you can also contact Rabbi Kestenbaum Rabbi E Kestenbaum of London at Tel: 011 44 208 455 9476
Fax: 011 44 208 455 3212, E-mail: email@example.com
You can also visit his website at http://www.glutenfreeoatmatzos.com/distributors.html for distributor information or at http://www.glutenfreeoatmatzos.com/ for general information.
Note: If you have seen these matzos sold for about $40 a box, please keep in mind that you can buy them at the above mentioned distributors for significantly lower.
Enjoyable and Happy Pesach - חג כשר ושמח!