By Aly Walansky
March 1, 2019
Purim is among the most fun of the Jewish holidays, but it’s also very important, marking a meaningful moment in Jewish history.
The holiday of Purim, which this year will occur from the evening of March 20 through the day of March 21, commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. There’s a lot more to the story, but as the history also involves royalty (a queen saved the day!) and also feasts, it’s hard not to see how fun parties have evolved in the celebration.
As holy as it is though, a lot of people remember it due to really fun treats that are enjoyed in celebration of the holiday, the most famous of which are cookies known as Hamantaschen.
Looking to get in the spirit? There’s some spots around the country with fun items in the menu.
Hamantaschen are often pictured in sweet varieties, perhaps filled wit9h apricot or raspberry, but innovation is everywhere and Breads Bakery in New York City has created a version that is savory and reminiscent of pizza! What better marriage for celebrating a Jewish holiday in New York City by mixing this traditional cookie with New York City’s most famous snack? Made of flaky quiche dough with pizza fillings (tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil), this cookie is unlike any other Hamantaschen you’ve seen before. “Breads Bakery’s mission is to keep classic pastry relevant by elevating them and making them exciting. We always look at the traditional pastries we all grew up with and think – what can we do to evolve them. With Hamantaschen, making them savory was exciting to us and when we started experimenting, the result was fun and delicious. Something about the triangular shape makes for a nice bite and that size is just perfect. We came upon the Pizza flavor by thinking of how we could make today’s kids want to eat something with such a strange name, while having adults love them as well. Pizza is familiar and the combination was a hit,” says Edan Leshnick, head pastry chef at Breads Bakery.
Purlieu is located in the Westside neighborhood of the peninsula in Charleston, South Carolina, in a historically Jewish neighborhood. Owner John Zucker wanted a cocktail on the menu to celebrate Purim but the restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license, due to its proximity to a school, so they had to go with a cremant-based cocktail. Westside Story is a house-made pomegranate shrub made with pomegranate vinegar and honey which is then topped with Cremant and garnished with a blood orange. Many love to celebrate Purim with wine and fun libations and this is a great cocktail to mark the occasion!
Great Harvest Challah French Toast
Looking for a hearty breakfast with a Purim spin? This Great Harvest Challah French Toast made with vanilla sweet cream, berry compote and granola is perfect. “This is a dish that I grew up eating and that I knew I eventually wanted to bring to the menu at Blue Dog Café in Lafayette, Louisiana. The combination of the challah, sweet cream and berry compote offer a classic spin on a breakfast favorite, while also providing a really wonderful rich flavor,” says Blue Dog Café’s executive chef Ryan Trahan.