Purim is yet another Jewish holiday that follows the “they tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat!” template, and in this case, the food is hamantaschen, triangular filled cookies that are said to look like the hat worn by the villainous Haman (the would-be killer). There is also a custom of getting completely smashed. Traditionally, hamantaschen have been stuffed with fruit preserves and poppy seeds, but modern bakers have branched out considerably. This year, many bakers are participating in Hamantashen for Ukraine, a project launched by an American expat in Berlin to raise money for relief efforts. Because Purim this year falls on Wednesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 17 (Jewish holidays start the evening before), it’s been overshadowed by St. Patrick’s Day, but there are still quite a few places in the city to pick up hamantaschen.
The Bagel: The Lakeview deli known for its, yes, bagels is selling hamantaschen this year in apricot, lemon, and poppy seed. Unlike many of the spots on this list, preordering is not necessary. 3107 N. Broadway, Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Bennison’s Bakery: The family-owned Evanston bakery is taking a traditional approach to its hamantaschen fillings: raspberry, chocolate, apple, apricot, poppy seed, and the elusive prune. Cookies are available for in-store pickup and shipping through Wednesday, March 16. This year, 40 percent of profits will be donated to Hamantashen for Ukraine. 1000 Davis Street, Evanston, Open 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm Saturday, and 7 am to 4 pm Sunday.
Big Fat Cookie: The local small-batch baker is making hamantaschen this year in flavors like s’mores, rainbow sprinkle, and salted caramel brownie. They’re available for shipping or for prepaid pickup at the Big Fat Cookie kitchen on Goose Island. Profits will be donated to World Central Kitchen and Polish Humanitarian Action.
Defloured Bakery: The gluten-free bakery in Andersonville is selling hamantaschen this year with a variety of traditional fillings, including apricot, raspberry, and poppy seed, and more fun flavors like rainbow sprinkles and chocolate s’more. 1477 W. Balmoral Avenue, Open 11 am to 3 pm Wednesday through Friday and 10 am to 3 pm Saturday and Sunday.
JB’s Deli: JB’s, a longtime standby in Andersonville, is once again selling hamantaschen, in fruit flavors only: apricot, blueberry, and raspberry. 5501 N. Clark Street, Open 8 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Jeff and Jude’s: The “Jew-ish” deli in Humboldt Park is selling hamantaschen with cherry and blueberry fillings for pickup on Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18. Preorder on Tock. 1024 N. Western Avenue, Open 11 am to 3 pm Monday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Manny’s: One of Chicago’s oldest delis is once again selling hamantaschen, along with the St. Paddy’s Day corned beef sandwiches, keeping it old-school with fillings like strawberry and poppy seed. 1141 S. Jefferson Street, Open 9:30 am to 8 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 9:30 am to 3:30 pm Sunday and Monday.
Sourdough: True to its mission of making Jewish treats with Mexican flavors, Masa Madre this year is stuffing its hamantaschen with Mexican candy: peanut mazapán, Cajeta Oblea, and Guava Ate. Hamantaschen are available for shipping or prepaid pickup at various locations around town. Masa Madre is also participating in Hamantashen for Ukraine.
North Shore Kosher Bakery: One of the city’s last kosher bakeries is offering hamantaschen in two sizes this year, and in plain cookie and yeast risen. Fillings include chocolate, poppy seed, raspberry, and lemon. North Shore Kosher Bakery, 2919 W. Touhy Avenue, Open 7 am to 2 pm Sunday through Friday.
Tel Aviv Kosher Bakery: This old-fashioned kosher bakery sells hamantaschen with all the traditional fillings — raspberry, apricot, lemon, poppy seed, prune, chocolate, and custard — plus pineapple. 2944 W. Devon Avenue, Open 8 am to 2 pm Sunday through Wednesday, 8 am to 5 pm Thursday, and 6 am to 1 pm Friday.
Zeitlin’s Deli: The virtual deli is offering its traditionally flavored hamantaschen for delivery. Each bundle includes five cookies: apple butter, strawberry, apricot, chocolate, and poppy seed. Fifteen percent of profits will go to Hamantashen for Ukraine.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism