Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dutch and Italian Jews Share a Haman’s Ear Custom

My friend Ida hails from Holland. When I told her about my research and blog dealing with Jewish holiday customs she eagerly added her own Dutch treat for Purim. “You know,” she said, “I never quite understood why Hamentashen stand for Haman’s ears. You have to go to Holland to see what a Haman’s ear really looks like.” Ida then proceeded to describe a family baking session consisting of dough dripped into a deep pan of hot, bubbling oil, carefully shaped to look like an ear. Once golden brown, it was removed, drained from oil and then sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Placed on a cake tray, the final display showed numerous ear shapes to choose from. “After all,” smiled Ida, “we all have different shaped ears.”

Being a pretty thorough researcher herself, Ida decided to Google the recipe. Here’s what she came up with. As you can see, the Italians share this custom as well. It’s more than a tradition. It’s an earful.
Hearty appetite and Happy Purim.

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