[Sca-cooks] Fig Newtons from God?

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 29 14:37:46 PDT 2008

Aldyth wrote:
>This morning at work a wonderful older jewish lady brought in a care 
>package to say thank you for taking such good care of her terrier. 
>She knows I like to cook. Her words were, "The little basket is full 
>of Fig Newtons from God. Just for you. Guess what they are. They are 
>as old as Abraham"
>So, I sampled one. Very light outside butter cookie dough that was 
>rolled out or flattened. Inside one was what I thought would be fig, 
>but was poppy seed goo.

Mmm-mmm-mmm, poppy seed filling. Sometimes the poppy seed filling 
includes prune puree, too (Mmm-mmm-mmm, prune puree (i'm serious!)), 
but not always.

>Another one was strawberry I think. The edges of the cookie were 
>folded up on the filling, leaving a finger print sized hole. Mostly 
>round, or sort of 3 sided. They also had been dusted with powdered 
>sugar, (I hope that was what it was).

Probably raspberry. I've never had strawberry Hamantaschen or 
Rugalach, but i've had raspberry...

>Surely not a cuskeynole. Google was helpful with various versions of 
>thumbprint cookies. If this is a period cookie, it would be 
>wonderful to include on a dessert sideboard. Ideas?

If they are triangular with slightly raised sides and an open top 
they are the Purim treats known as Hamantaschen (meant to represent 
the hat that the evil Haman wore; that's Haman in the Story of 

And from your description they sound like Hamantaschen.

There's another tasty pastry which is rolled up so that the filling 
is visible as a spiral (sort of jelly roll style) - a rich pastry 
dough with various fillings, including poppy, chopped walnut, chopped 
almond, raspberry, apricot, or chocolate (and not doubt some others 
i'm forgetting) which are Rugalach. I gather they're for some Jewish 
holiday or other, but a local Hungarian bakery has them year round.

As far as i can tell neither pastry has an ancient pedigree. Old, 
sure; traditional, sure; medieval? I'm skeptical; back to Biblical 
times? No way.

Every Jewish culture has its own holiday food treats. Depending on 
where one lives, they can be quite different. Hamantaschen and 
Rugalach are Mittl and Eastern European in origin, as far as i can 
tell. The Sephardim and Mizrachim eat different symbolic foods for 
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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