The biggest Purim trend of 2019 is giving food gifts of Israel’s bounty in reusable dishes – this hits the top trends of health and ecology. Part of the Purim celebration is handing out Mishloach Manot, food baskets, to family and friends but it is generally filled with sweets that result in belly aches and sugar rushes, as people love snacking on everything they receive as much as they love drowning out the name of the evil Haman with a grogger while listening to Megilat Esther. Mishloach Manot are meant to be eaten during the Purim Seuda (meal) but when you get candy, there really isn’t a place for it at the meal.
The mitzvah of Mishloach Manot is even mentioned in the Megilat Esther, "as days of feasting and gladness, and sending portions of food to one another, and gifts to the poor" (9:22). This means that the food given in Mishloach Manot should be used for the feast of the receiver and that food or charity should also be given to the poor. There are a few guidelines to follow when giving Mishloach Manot; it must have at least two different ready to eat foods that fall under two different blessings and should be given to at least one person.
Cookies, cakes, soda, and candy tend to fill up one’s Mishloach Manot, but that does not always need to be the case, as one of the more trendy gifts to give is something useful and healthy. Lin’s Farm, located in southern Israel, creates beautiful gift baskets incorporating different types of honey, spreads, and olive oil, all of which originated on the farm. While many of these fall under the same blessing, some of Lin’s gift baskets do include a bottle of wine so that you have the two blessings taken care for you. You can always choose an Israeli wine to add, or crackers or a fancy bread to eat with the delicious spreads.
Everyone loves giving themed Mishloach Manot, and your theme does not need to be obviously healthy. By incorporating a piece of Israel tableware into your gift basket, you can also give something ecologically friendly, as opposed to giving everyone a disposable bag. Armenian Ceramic bowls with dried fruit, nuts, and halva make a cute Israeli shuk theme, or if you enjoy the less healthy option, hot chocolate with tea biscuits and marshmallows in a mug makes a cozy Mishloach Manot. If you want to give something a little more elegant, pair some wine and cheese together and throw in a beautiful reusable wine cork from Israel. Each Mishloach Manot will stand out and be especially appreciated.
There are so many different ways to give Mishloach Manot aside from making your own, but if you want to make just one gift, it can really be something magnificent. One of the main ideas of giving this food gift basket is the idea of comradery and spreading love. Mishloach Manot can be something meaningful and not just common food options but also including a little something from Israel. Happy Purim!