This Saturday and Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. What's Purim? The short answer, "Jewish Halloween" is also the wrong answer. But there are costumes involved as well as a lot of drinking, so it's easy to see where folks could get confused.
So real quick: Purim is the biblical story of Queen Esther and how she saved all the Jews by being the most beautiful and appealing to her husband the king's sensibilities regarding mass murder. It's a familiar story: Some guy (in this case, Haman) tried to kill all the Jews (a goal that never seems to get old). Some good guys (King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai) work it out so the bad guy pays in the end. Then we drink, and eat.
Specifically, we drink until we can't tell the difference from the good guy and the bad guy in the story (which is hard to do, considering every time someone says the bad guy's name everybody starts making noise like it's going out of style). And we eat hamantaschen, which are little triangular-shaped shortbread cookies filled with jam, poppy seeds or most anything, really. Just no bacon, OK guys?
These cookies, shaped like bad guy Haman's evil hat, are really delicious, whether you make them yourself or go grab them from a bakery in town. Want to do the latter? I've got you. I called around, and here are a few good places to get hamantaschen in Dallas.
The Delis: Cindi's and Deli News (R.I.P., Gio's) both sell hamantaschen for $1.85 and $1.49 each, respectively. They both carry the same four flavors: apple, poppy seed, prune and cherry. No poppy seeds if you're being drug tested anytime soon, OK, champ?
The Kosher Spots: Obviously, there are a few kosher restaurants in town that are getting in on the hamantaschen game. One of my favorites, Natalie's Kitchen in North Dallas, is offering a surprisingly large selection of flavors -- prune, poppy seed, strawberry, chocolate, halva and chocolate halava -- for $7.99 per dozen. Milk and Honey, also in north Dallas, has strawberry, poppy seed, apricot (a personal favorite), date and chocolate varieties for $6.99 per dozen or 50 cents each.
The Grocery Stores: The "kosher" Tom Thumb (on Preston Road in North Dallas) has "assorted" hamantaschen for $5.99 for "more than a dozen," I was told. Another friend shouted "Costco!" when I asked where to get hamantaschen in town, but after a lengthy phone questioning of some dude in an office at the Costco on the tollway, he couldn't totally find them in his database. "We have a lot of items," he said. Truth. If you'd like to spend a little more on your hamantaschen, you could head to Whole Foods and pay $10 per pound at the cookie bar for a surprise selection of flavors. When I called, the one at Park Lane had cherry, for instance. Sounds delicious.
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And of course, Pinterest and all of the Internet is full with spazzed-out crazy recipes for hamantaschen in less-than-traditional flavors, but I'm all about the classics. I dare say apricot hamantaschen cookies would be a delicious addition to a traditional Cream Tea, but Gavin would probably smack me for it. Either way, happy Purim y'all!