As Purim gets closer, it’s necessary to rank the different flavors of hamantaschen (for research purposes). But who should determine those rankings? The answer: me. As a gluten-free picky eater who has only had three or so different hamantaschen fillings in recent years, I feel eminently qualified to make the definitive rankings.
So I will. Take it with a grain of salt, or perhaps a handful, because I will be judging hamantaschen fillings not on their actual taste, having not tried most of them, but rather on the way I expect they would taste if I were to try them.
5. Poppy seed
Okay, to be fair I only learned about poppy seed hamantaschen yesterday, so maybe I’m judging them unfairly. I like a good poppy seed bagel, but I’m not convinced that poppy seeds have enough flavor to be a good hamantaschen filling. I accept, however, that the crunchiness of the poppy seeds could be interesting.
Maybe I would like apricot hamantaschen more if I liked the color orange because they look like they would taste orange. I’m not sure what that would taste like, but I’m pretty sure they would.
Surprise! I’ve had chocolate hamantaschen, and I like them. Well, more specifically, I like chocolate. And I like hamantaschen. So of course I like chocolate hamantaschen, but they aren’t my favorite. And I don’t dislike them, but they’re just not my favorite. They lack the creativity of a nice fruit hamantaschen, but with the right kind of chocolate, they can be good. And since they’re not made with jam (jelly? who knows?) they’re a little bit less messy and that’s generally a plus for me.
It’s a classic hamantaschen filling. The flavor is nice. The color is good. It’s a happy looking hamantaschen, and while it’s not exciting, it’s enjoyable to eat. My only real complaint with strawberry hamantaschen is every time I eat one, I find myself wondering about the origin of the word “strawberry,” because it really does seem like a strange word. There are worse problems to have though and thus I like strawberry hamantaschen.
This seems obvious. I have, in fact, had raspberry hamantaschen. Or maybe it was strawberry — I really can’t say, but how different do they taste anyway? Raspberry hamantaschen have a nice texture and they’re sweet but not too sweet, and I think they have a nice color too. The filling might be slightly less textured than strawberry, but given they’re inside of the cookie part of the hamantaschen which provides texture, it’s acceptable. Also, I like raspberries.
1. Anything gluten free.
I recognize that gluten free hamantaschen are challenging to make, so I would like to give a quick shoutout to any bakeries up to the task. I know the flavor and texture isn’t better than any other hamantaschen, but they make me happy, and I never claimed this list was unbiased. The world needs more gluten free hamantaschen.
Enjoy your hamantaschen! And please, send gluten free ones to me.