This jolly festival of Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the book of Esther.
We celebrate Purim by having a festive meal, giving money gifts to at least two poor people and by sending gifts of two kinds of food to at least one person. This is called Mishloach Manot: sending of gifts. Usually we put hamentashen in the basket!
When sending gifts to each other, we can not forget about the needs of the less fortunate in our community.
Origin of the word Hamentashen. The name actually started in Germany when a cookie was all the rage: poppyseeds filled into pockets of dough, called in German Mohn Taschen. Mohn mens poppy and Taschen pockets….But Mohn sounds like Haman which is the villain of the Purim story. And so the cookie was soon referred to the Hamantashen cookie.
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What are the typical traditional hamentashen fillings?
Poppyseed filling, prunes, apricots and strawberry jam. If you are middle eastern (Sephardic) you had date filling.
- Caramel apple filling: caramels with tart apple filling and salt
- Smores: chocolate and marshmallows
- Chocolate chip cookie dough filling
- Brownie / cake pop dough filling
- Lemon curd filling
- Chocolate drizzle,
Thinking out of the box:
Savory Hamentashen – new trends arise in holiday eating:
Here are some ideas….
- Pizza filling
- Chickpea filling
- Samosa filling
- Goat cheese and carmelized onions