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What’s #Trending for Purim 2015

In this social media age everyone wants to know what’s trending for Purim. Last year’s big hits, which went viral, were rainbow-striped and creative savory variations on hamantaschen like caramelized onion and goat cheese, meat pie, green tea, and pizza hamantaschen. This year is seeing a repeat of some of last year’s most popular ideas (myjewishlearning.com/blog/food/2014/02/25/sweet-savory-boozy-hamantaschen-for-2014). Gluten-free hamantaschen are still a challenge.

Trendsetters like Tamar Genger, founder and executive editor of JoyofKosher.com, is talking about unusual hamantasch trends in Israeli flavors and coffee-inspired treats. Two recipes to be debuted are Techina-Date Hamantaschen with Silan Glaze and Cappuccino Hamantashen (see our exclusive of the recipe below). Related publication Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine features a gorgeous Hamantasch Gallette on the cover (www.joyofkosher.com/magazine) and presents Purim-inspired challah. Well-known food blogger Shannon Sarna’s Poppyseed Monkey Bread Challah makes an exciting appearance. Purim-inspired breads are showing up in other trend-watcher sites.

Trend mirror KosherEye continues the Purim bread theme with Beer Bread, as well as including more general theme suggestions like “Go Nuts on Purim” with mixed nuts, almond liqueur, Snickers or candy nut bar, etc. and “Orange You Glad Purim is Here” with oranges, orange tissue paper, orange Sunsweet Jels, and orange juice. You can see more of these creative suggestions at www.koshereye.com/vip-chefs-foodies/in-the-spotlight/847-2011-03-02-22-32-21.html#.VNBIsWjF-So.

Always on-trend site Kitchen Tested is featuring an innovative recipe for Black and White Hamantaschen that has a lot of mouths watering at kitchen-tested.com/2015/02/03/black-and-white-cookie-hamantaschen.

Known for their all natural, gluten-free, and dairy-free desserts, Tova’s All Natural (www.tovasallnatural.com), sold in New Jersey at Best Glatt and Glatt Express in Teaneck, Harold’s Kosher in Paramus, and Food Showcase in Fair Lawn, is talking about new flavors being developed by its team. Owner Mark Roth said: “We love to experiment with fillings and two-tone flavors.” New this year is apricot with sliced candied almonds, lemon curd with poppy seeds, chocolate-pistachio with orange zest, and strawberry frangipane. “We focus on finding really great flavor profiles that are new takes on old classics,” said Roth. “We think out of the box, both about what’s on trend but also on what people can gravitate to.”

In less caloric trends, the current salad-in-a-jar trend is definitely influencing shalach manos ideas. People are jumping on the opportunity to send friends these tasty, colorful, creative, and healthy treats using varieties of fruits and/or veggies, toppings, and dressings. For more information, check out #saladinajar and www.popsugar.com/fitness/Salad-Jar-Recipes-35452622#photo-35452622.

Thematically, Abbey Wolin, creative director of JCreate Magazine (www.jcreatemagazine.com), the only Jewish crafting magazine—a la Martha Stewart—says she has noticed significant trends this year of new and old themes like super heroes, minions, pirates, and butterflies. The movie Frozen is very popular as well, surpassing last year’s still-popular movie favorite, Despicable Me. The Olympics are also a popular theme. Anything goes for some, but many are trying to be thriftier than usual and not “keep up with the Joneses” in terms of spending… just in terms of creativity if they have the time. “People are really trying to be thematic on a budget,” said Wolin, who is also the proprietor of Not2shabbey (www.not2shabbey.com).

“JCreate Magazine is all about bringing creativity back into the home and back into the classroom, and features hands-on creative activities for moms, kids, and teachers,” Wolin adds. “JCreate, for me, merges my love for teaching and my background as an educator with my full-time role now as a mom,” she says. “There is very little Jewish crafting content on the web. It is our goal to fix that, and Purim is the perfect time.”

As a craft or an accessory, painted glass is currently very popular. Just in time for Purim, Ibex Art is featuring made-in-Israel painted glass personalized shot glasses for the whole family on trendy Etsy. See www.etsy.com/il-en/listing/217164907/glass-painted-personalized-shot-glass?ref=shop_home_active_2. To go DIY, alone, or with the kids, Wolin recently opened the only glass-painting studio around in Passaic. If you like actually creating painted-glass designs, this is worth the trip. Etsy is also showing adorable grogger charms (https://www.etsy.com/listing/186029719/jewish-grogger-purim-charm-19mm-x-15mm).

To see ideas in real time, check out Purim FB pagewww.facebook.com/groups/76680746328 or Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=hamantaschen%202015&term_meta%5B%5D=hamantaschen%7Ctyped&term_meta%5B%5D=2015%7Ctyped.

Tamar Genger has kindly given readers of The Jewish Link of New Jersey an exclusive preview of Joy of Kosher’s latest innovation with a recipe for Cappuccino Hamantaschen: “For these coffee house inspired hamantaschen, I made a coffee-flavored cookie dough and filled them with melted white chocolate and topped with a dusting of cinnamon… they’re the perfect accompaniment to a real cappuccino.”

By Lisa Matkowsky

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