How to Throw a Purim Celebration
One of the most joyful holidays of the year, Purim celebrates the occasion in which the Jews were saved from the despicable Haman through the determination of Esther, who eventually became queen. This celebration of life and the resiliency of the Jewish people is reflected in the traditions and foods associated with Purim. Chances are you often serve at least one of the traditional desserts or savory dishes associated with the holiday.
While you may not be literally starting with desserts, sweets are the first things that often come to mind with Purim. That’s because the tradition of sharing mishloach manot baskets is so integral to the tradition. So even if you won’t be exchanging these baskets at your Purim event, your table likely features some of the traditional goodies:
- Hamantaschen - The name of these three-sided pastries translates to “Haman’s hat,” and eating them symbolizes destroying his power. The most traditional fillings are poppy seed, marmalade or preserves. Of course, some hosts like to get even more creative with sweet fillings.
- Mohnkuchen - What’s a gathering without a little cake? Mohnkuchen is a prune and poppy seed cake packed with symbolic meaning, as well as richness. Aside from the moistness, texture and sweetness provided by the prunes and poppies, Mohnkuchen offers room for variation, whether you prefer a strudel topping or even a chocolate-nut frosting.
As with desserts, every family has at least one or two must-haves at a Purim gathering. Many are symbolic of the historic event:
- Challa - Admittedly, challah is often so sweet that it wouldn’t be out of place on the dessert buffet. But whether you like this fluffy, braided bread unsweetened, or with a touch of honey, it’s a great addition to the main meal.
- Dumplings - Kreplach, those tasty noodle dumplings that hide a substantial filling, symbolize the hidden meetings undertaken in the effort to overcome Haman. Often kreplach are filled with beef, liver or chicken and served in broth, but you can always put your own spin on the dumpling idea with vegetable or cheesy stuffings, and topped with sauce rather than floated in soup.
- Nut and Seed Toppings - Nuts and seeds are incorporated into many Purim dishes to commemorate Esther’s three-day fast in which she ate only these foods. Along with poppy seed desserts, consider sprinkling your salads and sides with almonds or walnuts, or perhaps toasted sesame seeds.
Groaning Over Your Groaning Board?
If your Purim ambitions are outstripping your ability to make all of those tasty dishes, let Panosh Kosher Catering do the work for you. Whether you are looking to cater a soup-to-nuts spread, or are just needing to supplement your own recipes, our expertise is in preparing the foods specific to holidays and special occasions, so that you can spend more time with your loved ones.