Discover more from Jewcy Magazine
Stop Trying to Make Hamantaschen Happen
They're just not good.
Two years ago, the internet erupted into debate over an old Bon Appetit article originally entitled “How to Make Actually Good Hamantaschen,” which alleged that most hamantaschen were “dry and sandy” and left your mouth “coated with a weird film.” The magazine has since removed all anti-hamantaschen language from the article, which was written by a non-Jew named Dawn, after an uproar over its cultural insensitivity and the author’s insufficient ethnic standing to levy such a critique.
We’re not here to, uh, get into that. But we are here to spell out, in the staunchest terms possible, that Dawn and her fellow hamantaschen haters are on the right side of history. They’re the Esthers and Mordechais of this story. Hamantaschen are…simply not good. They’re dry. The flavors are displeasing. They don’t even look appetizing.
It’s just wrong that on a holiday meant for joy, feasting, and celebrations, we’re encouraged to consume some of the driest baked goods in God’s creation. How are we supposed to rejoice when we’re chewing a bland pastry for thirty-five minutes? How are we meant to drink merrily when our mouths are glued shut by a thick paste of poppy seeds?
It’s not like any of the other fillings are good– even chocolate tastes like stale melted gelt left over from Hanukkah, and the other options are what? Raspberry and apricot? We’re not soldiering through a wall of simultaneously bland and dry dough to get to a mush of apricot, todah rabah.
The failings of the cookie are most obvious in the number of caveats that hamantaschen enthusiasts require to defend it: “Well, the pastry can’t be too dry, and neither can the filling, and it also can’t be too soggy, and it actually has to taste like the flavor it professes to be..but then yeah they’re great!” My guy, save yourself the trouble and just have some babka.
Not even the inventive iterations of the cookie are good–a few days ago Twitter went wild for a photo of “hamanpizza” that looked less appetizing than your average middle school cafeteria slice. It’s a problem when people are so desperate for alternatives that they’re clawing for every possible fusion option to make this pastry work. Sure, you can put dulce de leche in a Hamantasch (terrible singular noun), but why would you do that when you can put it in literally anything else?
“It’s time to take a long look at our pantheon of desserts and reflect upon why hamantaschen still has such a valued place within it.”
Ultimately, it’s time to take a long look at our pantheon of desserts and reflect upon why hamantaschen still has such a valued place within it. Is it because we’ve starved ourselves for an hour at a megillah reading and they’re just… there? Or is it because they are supposedly a fun shape? Because one could argue that triangles are the most goyish of all the shapes. Christmas trees, the sign of the cross, wedges of cheese that our stomachs can’t handle–the world’s leading examples of goyishness all involve shapes with three sides.
Yeah, yeah, they’re supposed to represent Haman, the villain of our current genocidal tale, but instead they’re the villain of our festive carb offerings. If it’s between a full platter of hamantaschen and no food at all, we’d take a second day of Taanit Esther.