Hamantaschen (pronounced huh-min-tah-shun) are triangular pastries associated with the holiday of Purim. Purim is when the triumph of good (Queen Esther in the Bible) over evil (Haman, the villain who planned to destroy the Jewish people) is celebrated. The word hamantaschen means “Haman’s pockets” in Yiddish.

The dough of hamantaschen can be either hard or soft. They are filled with many different foods. Common fillings include poppy seeds (the oldest and most traditional variety), prunes, nut, date, apricot, raspberry, raisins, apple, fruit preserves, cherry, fig, chocolate, halva, or even caramel or cheese.

Want to cook with Beba? Here is the recipe.

To learn more about the Jewish food of Eastern Europe, check out YIVO’s online class A Seat at the Table: A Journey into Jewish Food.