Ever considered going into business with your mother-in-law? In most instances, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. In the case of Zaza Snacks, it’s proved a recipe for success.
Victoria Hovanessian is an immigrant of Armenian and Lebanese descent, whose been cutting up pitas, sprinkling the triangles with olive oil and za’atar (a blend of toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, sea salt, and wild herbs), and baking them until crisp for over 40 years. And this salty, savory, and tangy treat has long been a favorite family snack, making reliable appearances at everything from school lunches to birthdays to holidays.
The chips made a particular impression on her son-in-law, Chahe, who eagerly brought them to two friends in the food industry. They readily agreed that the snack was really something special, and the team enthusiastically assembled into a full-fledged, friend and family-owned company.
While not a part of day-to-day operations, Victoria remains ZaZa’s spiritual center—especially as far as their delectable product is concerned. Referred to as “The Mother Chip,” the recipe starts with pitas freshly baked to their specifications in Brooklyn, that are split for maximum thinness, seasoned with award-winning extra virgin olive oil and a lemony, custom za’atar spice mix sourced in NYC, and baked again for incredibly craveable crispness.
So whether dipped into hummus or crumbled atop salad, you’re sure to find yourself reaching again and again for a snack that’s distinctively Brooklyn, but deliciously rooted in the Middle East.