Purim is a merrymaking holiday with many food-related traditions, including giving mishloach manot to family and friends and eating triangular-shaped hamantaschen. But beyond these better-known customs lies one with a lower profile, the eating of beans.
Bean and chick-pea dishes are typically served at the festive meal on Purim day to evoke Queen Esther’s diet while in the court of King Ahasuerus, where the midrash relates that she ate only beans to avoid non-kosher fare. Legumes are also a traditional food for mourners–some suggest that Esther consumed them when she heard of Haman’s plan for the Jewish people. More…