AKA mandlen or soup almonds (though they contain no almonds).

Small, puffy dumpling like balls of matzo dough, sold in boxes in the kosher foods section of the supermarket. Goodman sells a serviceable product.

Soup nuts are pretty much devoid of taste. Dry and out of soup, they are crunchy and airy; when dropped in a broth, they absorb the broth and its taste, and become soft, soggy, and not completely unpleasant.

As can be deduced from the preceding description, the determining factor in the enjoyment of soup nuts is the soup into which the nuts are dropped. Homeade chicken broth is best; flavored with a bit of fresh ground pepper, and garnished sparingly with a little chopped parsley and chives.

Soup nuts are especially good when one is trying to recover from a particularly nasty bout of gastroenteritis, and stuck in one's home with one's loving family on a rainy St. Patrick's Day evening. Under circumstances such as this, soup nuts make you hardly miss the Guinness.

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