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7 Places to Buy Brooklyn's Best Purim Hamenstaschen

Discover the "Real McCoy" of Hamantaschen in Brooklyn's Ethnic Jewish Bakeries

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Hamantaschen. They come small and large. You can get them filled with poppy, chocolate, prunes, or apricot jam. Hamantaschen are to Jewish culture what the donut is to American culture: delicous, fattening, irresistable comfort food.

The Jewish holiday of Purim is a springtime celebration of the victory of good over evil, as recounted in the biblical Book of Esther. For centuries, Jews have partied over this victory with wine, song, gifts — and indulgence in the three-cornered hamentaschen.

Where better plance than Brooklyn to find the—you should pardon the phrase— real McCoy of hamantaschen? 

Where are the best places to buy ethnically authentic Jewish hamantaschen in Brooklyn?

1. Shelsky's Smoked Fish in Carroll Gardens

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Shelsky's in Carroll Gardens/Gowanus area. Photo by E. Freudenheim

Hop on the F or G trains for arguably the best hamentaschen in the borough, at Shelsky's, a sort of mini-Zabars arrived in once-Italian Carroll Gardens.  They describe themselves as "a New-Brooklyn, updated nod to the traditional smoked fish and appetizing shops that dotted the Lower East Side and Brooklyn decades ago." And they make a hamentaschen that would make your Oma cry for joy.

Where: 251 Smith Street,  between Douglass and Degraw Streets 

Contact: http://www.shelskys.com.   (718) 855-8817

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 8AM-6PM. Friday - 8AM to 7PM. Saturday - 8AM to 6PM, Sunday - 8AM-4PM. Closed Mon.

 

2. D'Vine in Park Slope

This unassuming emporium, with bulk items, spices, interesting imports and more,  is run by a family of expat Iranian Jews who also produce delicious baked goods on the premises. If you are lucky you might just get your hamentashen warm, right out of the oven. They make poppy, apricot and other flavors. Excellent, small, with a delicate thin crust, and for the holiday only.

Where:   50 7th Ave. between Garfield Pl & Carroll St in Park Slope

When:  Daily.

Contact:  (718) 369-9548 

3. Korn Bakery in Brooklyn's Borough Park

If you're shopping for a good nosh in the Jewish department, as they say, they'll have it in the very religious neighborhood known as Borough Park.

Hamantaschen lovers have a small window of opportunity for getting these Purim pastries, freshly baked; Korn's makes hamantaschen specifically for the spring holiday of Purim. So stop in, buy a dozen or two, and freeze some.

Where: 5004 16th Avenue, Borough Park

When:  Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; close 2 hours before sundown on Friday and closed all Sunday

Contact: (718) 851 0268

4. Weiss Homemade Kosher Bakery in Borough Park

Weiss hamantaschen come in a rainbow of flavored fillings: poppy, prune, apricot , blackberry, strawberry and nuts. They're $7.50 a pound for the small ones; you get about 15 hamantaschen per pound.

Another of Brooklyn's long standing kosher bakeries, Weiss Homemade Kosher Bakery also serves a mostly local orthodox clientele. Don't be fooled by Weiss' preppy exterior. It's as old-fashioned a kosher Jewish bakery as a bakery can be.

Where:  5011 13th Avenue, near 50th Street

When:  Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; close 2 hours before sundown on Friday and closed all Sunday

Contact: (718) 438-0407

5. Ostrowski Bakery in Brooklyn's Midwood area

Midwood is a virtual epi-center of traditional Jewish food stores in Brooklyn.

Ostrowski Bakery sells loaves of bread big enough to feed an entire city block, which is a good thing given that many of the local religious Jewish families have more than five children. But this bakery also turns out delicious pastries, chocolate rolls— and sweet, soft, delicious "hummentash."

Where:  1124 Avenue J at East 12th Street, Midwood

When:  Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; close 2 hours before sundown on Friday and closed all Sunday

Contact: (718) 377 9443

6. Sanders Kosher Bakery in Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is, of course, a crazy-quilt of cultures. But the local hipsters and Hasidim can agree on one thing: Sanders Kosher Bakery makes great baked goods. The store is friendly, if slightly packed with customers. Call ahead to make sure Sanders still have hamantaschen, because these Purim pastries fly out the door!

Where:  159 Lee Avenue between Pennsylvania Avenue and Hewes Streets,  Williamsburg

When:  Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; close 2 hours before sundown on Friday and closed all Sunday

Contact: (718) 387-7411

 

7. Brooklyn's Farmers Markets

What to do if you're desperate for a fresh, soft-dough, sweet hamantaschen but just can't make it to Midwood, Borough Park or Williamsburg? Don't platz. Head toward a local deli— or a Brooklyn farmers market. The hamentaschen are more dough than filling, so it's a heavy pastry--delicious and sweet, and hefty.  And, they are often sold as a regular pastry item, not just on the once-a-year Purim.

According to GrowNYC, the organizers of the farmers markets, Bakers Bounty generally carry hamantaschen, both for Purim and at other times during the year. Look for them at these specific Brooklyn greenmarkets:

  • Brooklyn Boro Hall—Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
  • Fort Greene Park—Saturday
  • Grand Army Plaza—Saturday
  • Greenpoint McCarren Par—Saturday

Another piece of good news for hamantaschen hunters: farmers markets are open on Saturdays.

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