Purim is this weekend, and Jewish bakeries all over the city are hard at work churning out hundreds of the delicious, triangle-shaped cookies known as hamentashen. Of course, many bakeries sell them year round, but Purim is when they are meant to be eaten. I traveled around Queens, home to so many Jewish bakeries, to find the best of the best.
A good hamentash should have the right ratio of dough to filling—and while the fillings are varied, some swear by prune, raspberry, even chocolate—I narrowed the search down to two fillings: poppy seed and apricot, when available, since those are my preferred flavors. The search took me to Kew Gardens Hills and Forest Hills and beyond—sweets from seven bakeries in total. Check out the slideshow for the details.
Martha's Country Bakery
Queens Pita Bakery
Main Street Bagels
Bonelle Pastry Shop
Andre's Hungarian Bakery (yeast dough)
The Winner: Mendy's Royale Kosher Bake Shop
With a name like this, I was expecting greatness, and that's what I found. The best of the search, everything was right about these beautiful triangles. The texture of the dough had just the right amount of crumb and bite; the poppy seed filling was sweet and soft and really tasted of poppy; the apricot, a smooth puree, was sweet and tart. And every bite had the ideal ratio of filling to dough. Not too sweet, not too dry, exactly what I was searching for. $2.00 each for large hamentash.
72-22 Main Street, Kew Gardens Hills (map); 718-544-8736
Go in search of hamentashen this weekend. Purim is a celebration of life, so eat something sweet and enjoy yourself!