The story behind Purim’s hamantaschen - Food

The story behind Purim’s hamantaschen

SYBIL KAPLAN | Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 10:38 am

The most important aspect of most Purim pastries is their shape. Most Ashkenazic Jews only know of hamantaschen, the triangular pastries filled with prunes or other fruit fillings. This word is taken from the German words mohn (meaning poppy seeds) and taschen (referring to pockets). Some say the pockets refer to Haman who stuffed his pockets with bribe money.

The original name was mohntaschen, and the tradition of eating them may date back as far as the 12th century. Shmil Holland, the Israeli historian, caterer and cook, says when Jews fled Germany for Eastern Europe in the late Middle Ages, they took the poppy seed pastry with them and added the Yiddish prefix, “ha,” thus making it hamantash.

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