February 22, 2010

The Hammentaschen from Zadies Score Big

Fairlawn, NJ…The great Hammantashen debate? It was a debate raging amongst Israelis last year on whether the triangular shaped frequently prune filled pastries for Purim (February 28th) could ever compete with the sufganiyot (donuts) on Chanukah. In the US, at least at Zadies Bakery in Fair Lawn, NJ, the clear winner is hammantaschen (named for the evil Haman who sought to destroy the Jews in ancient Persia). Zadies is popular for Purim celebrants because they do not only fill their dough with prune. Apricot, sesame and strawberry are crowd favorites but it’s the truly unique creations that keep them coming back. Among the standard flavors are Hammentaschen that are filled with brownie and pudding. These wonderful cookies are the creation of Josh Steinberg, one of Zadies owners. "We like to experiment with new ideas as much as possible" Josh said. "We are working at something new for this year too. Maybe apple. We'll see". As one of New Jersey’s biggest distributors of baked goods, the pressure of keeping up with demand can take its toll. "Unlike a lot of places, all of our hammentaschen are hand made and not by machine. Some days demand is so great that all I do is make hammentaschen."