Like many Jews, Purim is my favorite Jewish holiday of the year (this year it’s on March 11-12!) I enjoy dressing my children in costumes, the mishloach manot baskets, the groggers my kids make, and most of all, the hamentaschen!
"Hamantaschen" is a Yiddish word meaning "Haman’s pockets." Haman is the villain in the Purim story, which appears in the Biblical Book of Esther. Jews eat hamantaschen on Purim as part of the celebration of the holiday, which commemorates how Jews escaped Haman's plot to have all the Jews in the kingdom massacred. One explanation for the triangular shape of these pastries is that Haman wore a three-cornered hat. Another explanation is that the three corners represent Queen Esther's strength and the founders of Judaism: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and others believe they represent Haman’s ears.
Popular fillings for hamantaschen are poppy seeds, prunes, and other fruit fillings. Below are eight other (more outside of the box) types of hamentaschen that I would like to try!
- Sushi hamentaschen: In a video, Sushi chef Moshe at Meshuga 4 Sushi takes fried-rice triangles, and tops with guacamole, baked salmon, and spicy mayo. And he doesn’t stop there: later in the video, he demonstrates how to make triangular sushi rolls, filled with sushi rice and fish.
- Pita and Hummus hamantaschen: Move over prune, pita and hummus hamantaschen are in town! See how to make them here.
- Baklava hamentaschen: Chanie Apfelbaum at Busy in Brooklyn takes her favorite Purim dessert all the way to the Ottoman Empire with her baklava hamantaschen.
- Rice Krispies Treats hamantaschen: The best part about this recipe is that there is no oozing of filling, no seams of the dough breaking, and NO BAKING.
- Unicorn hamantaschen: The cheery pastel colors, sparkly sprinkles, fluffy cotton candy and pillow-y marshmallows all contribute to this cookie’s magic.
- Pizza hamentaschen: If you can make a half moon-shape stuffed pizza and call it calzone, why not a triangle shape and call it pizza hamantashen.
- Neopolitan hamentaschen: These neapolitan version are strawberry with chocolate filling and vanilla drizzle.
- Red velvet hamentaschen with cream cheese filling: These are red velvet, chocolately cookies with cream cheese filling and drizzled chocolate.
Whether you prefer traditional hamentaschen or some of these meshugena varieties, we at the J hope you enjoy, and wish you a Happy Purim!