Esther, the star of the Purim story, is one of the bravest heroines for so many reasons–she not only strategized to save the Persian Jews from certain death (breaking social norms in doing so), but she also maintained a kosher diet as an undercover Jew in the Persian palace. Wait, what?
Legend has it that like many Jews today, Esther kept kosher by avoiding things like non-kosher meat, and instead enjoyed a plant-based diet full of fresh produce, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. For those of you with eating restrictions, you know how hard it is to turn down foods that everyone else is noshing!
In the story of Purim, food and celebration are central to her strategic success. In order to earn the favor of her husband, King Ahasuerus, she hosted two impressive (and probably extremely delicious!) banquets that set the stage for her requests of the King to save the Jews of Persia.
After all these years, delicious food and drink–like hamantaschen, Haman’s fingers, and plenty of wine–are essential parts of the celebration of Queen Esther and Purim.
If you’d like to party like Esther this Purim, there are lots of delicious Persian flavors to work with:
Bastel & Sambussak, savory filled pockets
Fassoulyeh b’Chuderah, lentils stewed with tomatoes and cinnamon
Kibbeh Nabilseeyah, Syrian stuffed fried bulgar wheat
And of course, Rosewater and Pistachio Hamantaschen
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Pronounced: PUR-im, the Feast of Lots, Origin: Hebrew, a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period.