If you didn’t already know, Erev Purim starts on the evening of March 16 (the day after the Deli event for our anniversary). Although the actual holiday is just that evening and then the next day, Hamantaschen are terrific any time. They’ve been Paul’s favorite pastry for as long as I can remember!
If you don’t know it, Purim is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Persian Jews outwitting the wicked minister Haman who was out to annihilate them. Haman was going to have all the Jews put to death, but the uncle (Mordechai) of the Queen (Esther) found out about Haman’s evil intentions and passed word to his niece (Queen Esther) who in turn told the King, who then put Haman to death instead of the Jews. The triangular shape was said to be derived from the three-cornered hat that Haman wore. A different origin story is that they were made by central European Jews based on the German mohntaschen—a poppyseed filled pastry pocket. However they came to be, they do taste terrific!
The modern-day tradition around Purim calls for kids to dress up in costume, traditionally as Queen Esther, Mordechai, Haman, etc. The night Purim begins, Jews gather at the synagogue to read the Megillah—the story of Purim. Every time Haman’s name comes up in the reading, kids swing old-fashioned noise makers. The best thing of all about Purim from a culinary standpoint, is most definitely, Hamantaschen. These beautiful little all-butter cookie dough crust pockets are stuffed with an array of fillings: the Creamery’s cream cheese, mixed with Vanilla bean; Apricot; Hungarian Prune with Walnuts; and, Paul’s favorite, Dutch Poppy Seed. All are excellent.
It’s a Jewish tradition to bring gifts at Purim, so a box of Hamantaschen dropped off at the office or your neighbor’s house would be a great way to do that. We happily ship Hamantaschen all over the country, so place your holiday orders soon to get them there before Purim!
P.S. We’ll be donating $1 from the sale of each Hamantaschen purchased in our Bakeshop this month to Polish Humanitarian Action, to help them assist Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border escaping the violence. Feeling helpless about how to help people in Ukraine, we thought that the Purim story—where the wicked minister almost comes out on top but ends up losing seemed fitting for what’s happening right now.
P.P.S. If you want to make hamantaschen at home, the recipe in the wonderful Zingerman’s Bakehouse book!
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
- Sign up for Ari’s Top 5 enewsletter to hear more from Ari every week!
- Order some hamantaschen for pickup at the Bakehouse
- Ship some hamantaschen to Hoboken
- Read more about hamantaschen and some history on Purim