Purim is coming!
In addition to playing dress up and reading the tale of the heroic Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai, celebrants are gearing up to devour endless amounts of hamantaschens, the triangular pastries boasting a variety of different fillers.
In case you were wondering, the treat's name refers to Haman—the villain in the Purim story—likely referencing a rumor that his pockets were always filled with bribe money. In Hebrew, the dessert is called "oznei Haman," which literally translates to "Haman's ears."
Purim officially kicks off on March 6 but bakeries and restaurants all across town are already working on their unique celebratory offerings. Case in point: iconic New York City sweets destination Breads Bakery, constantly churning out treats marking the arrival of all sorts of Jewish holidays.
This year, the bakery will start selling hamantaschens beginning February 17 and the offered flavors are sure to delight all of your senses.
On the sweet side, flavors include chocolate, poppy, apple and apricot. Although they are all delightful versions of the treat, they don't necessarily excite us as much as the spot's savory option: a hamantaschen boasting a pizza-like filling.
"Usually, when we start thinking about hamantaschens months before we start making them, we ask ourselves: what has never been done with [them] before?," Breads Bakery owner Gadi Peleg said to us in the past. "The inspiration comes from the flavors that we have tasted during the year and from other items in the bakery." Peleg also revealed that, although chocolate is a very close second, the poppy hamantaschen is usually the most popular.
As for how they are made, the shop owner noted that the most difficult part of the process involves getting the recognizable shape just right. "It is a gentle little move to fold the dough around the filling and to make sure there is a perfect balance of both," he says. "We do that, one by one, thousands of times a day with love."
Expect some "surprise flavors" to pepper the bakery's menu throughout the following weeks as well.
The pastries will be available at all five Breads Bakery locations around town—Union Square, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Upper East Side and Upper West Side—through March 8.
Listen to the pros: you want to try all of them and distribute them to friends and family (that's actually part of the Purim tradition!) so do grab a bunch of extra ones when visiting.