European Jewish Congress
Cheesecake, amaretto or goat cheese and onion jam?
Life in Israel
Cheesecake, amaretto or goat cheese and onion jam?

Those were just some of the new hamantaschen options this year on offer at a bakery in Tel Aviv, one of dozens around the country, which was bustling in advance of the Purim holiday, which started on Saturday evening.

“The public trusts us to expose them to new flavours,” said the owner of Roladin, Itzik Shamsian.

In recent years, Israeli bakeries have increasingly offered gourmet versions of the three-cornered pastry — including marzipan or gluten-free varieties — alongside the classics, like poppyseed. The change reflects the growing sophistication of Israel’s culinary scene, which is focused on updating traditional dishes and fusing them with cuisines from around the world.

Purim — which commemorates the Jews’ deliverance from Haman, an evil adviser to an ancient Persian king — is a festive holiday for both religious and secular Jews in Israel. It is characterized by costumes and parties, including in the streets of some cities.

But perhaps the most iconic symbol of the holiday are hamantaschen— called oznay haman, or “Haman’s ears,” in Hebrew. In the weeks before Purim, they pop up in bakeries, cafes and kitchens around the country, and the treats are included in the mishloach manot, or Purim gift baskets, Israelis traditionally exchange for the holiday.

Ashkenazi Jews, about half of Israel’s Jewish population, have been making hamantaschen on Purim for generations, and little has fundamentally changed. A piece of dough is folded into a triangle around a sweet filling and baked. In Israel, the classics are poppyseed, chocolate and date, with jam not nearly as common as in the United States or Europe.

Like its population, Israel’s food is a mishmash of global influences, from Poland to Morocco. Until recently, cooking mostly took place in the home. But in the past decade or so, food has gone public, with an explosion of dining options in Tel Aviv and other cities. Cooking shows, like Israel’s version of “MasterChef,” which celebrate and refine Israel’s diverse culinary heritage, have shattered viewing records and made household names out of celebrity chefs like Eyal Shani and Haim Cohen.

Shamsian, the Roladin manager, however acknowledged that the most popular flavours at his branch remain poppyseed, chocolate and date.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, March 17, 2017
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • Israel launches its first environmental research satellite
    The first Israeli satellite for environmental research was launched on August 1 from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

    On Monday, August 21, 2017 Israel launches its first environmental research satellite
  • First Israeli whisky to be auctioned on Scottish site
    Here’s a deal: The first 100 bottles of Israel’s first single malt whisky, made by the Milk & Honey Distillery in Tel Aviv, will be auctioned off on a Scottish auction site this month.

    On Monday, August 21, 2017 First Israeli whisky to be auctioned on Scottish site
  • Israel grants entry to Iranian journalist facing death penalty
    An Iranian journalist facing the death penalty in her home country for her journalistic work will be granted entry to Israel, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri confirmed on August 6.

    On Monday, August 21, 2017 Israel grants entry to Iranian journalist facing death penalty
  • Israel grants entry to Iranian journalist facing death penalty
    An Iranian journalist facing the death penalty in her home country for her journalistic work will be granted entry to Israel, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri confirmed on August 6.

    On Monday, August 21, 2017 Israel grants entry to Iranian journalist facing death penalty
  • Israel and Palestinian Authority agree on historic water deal
    US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt announced on Thursday that Israel and the Palestinians had reached an agreement concerning the long-discussed Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal, whereby Israel will each year sell 33 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority to relieve the water situation there.

    On Thursday, July 20, 2017 Israel and Palestinian Authority agree on historic water deal
  • Israel sets up plan to keep large tech firms ahead of the curve
    The Israel Innovation Authority is setting up a new programme to provide grants for research and development (R&D) at Israeli corporations that have annual sales of more than $100 million, in an effort to help them maintain a technological edge over competitors, undertake more daring projects by participating in the risk, and ensure their continued growth.

    On Thursday, July 20, 2017 Israel sets up plan to keep large tech firms ahead of the curve
  • India and Israel launch technology fund to prepare for digital age
    Israel and India launched a technology fund today aimed at growing the countries' business relationship and signed seven accords boosting cooperation in areas ranging from space research to water and agriculture.

    On Thursday, July 13, 2017 India and Israel launch technology fund to prepare for digital age
  • Israel rounds up traffic stopping stray camels
    Israeli government agencies on Sunday rounded up some 30 stray camels that were roaming near the road and posed a danger to drivers.

    On Thursday, July 13, 2017 Israel rounds up traffic stopping stray camels
  • Israel earmarks funds for special needs technology
    Apps that help children on the autistic spectrum and wheelchair users are among the projects that have received NIS 3 million in funding from the Israel Innovation Authority for the development of technological solutions for populations with special needs.

    On Thursday, July 13, 2017 Israel earmarks funds for special needs technology
  • Israel seeking Saudi flight deal to bring pilgrims to Mecca
    Israel is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to allow it to send special Hajj pilgrimage flights to Mecca.

    On Thursday, July 13, 2017 Israel seeking Saudi flight deal to bring pilgrims to Mecca
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism