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A hamantash is a pastry in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine recognizable for its three-cornered shape. The shape is achieved by folding in the sides of a circular piece of dough, with a filling placed in the center. It is traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Left: Homemade hamantashen.

The word "hamantash" is singular; "hamantashen" is plural and is the word form more commonly used. However, many people refer to these cookies as hamantashen even in the singular (for example, "I ate an apricot hamantashen").

Hamantaschen are made with many different fillings, including prunes, nut, poppy seed, date, apricot, apple, fruit preserves, cherry, chocolate, dulce de leche, halva, or even caramel or cheese.

The name hamantash (המן־טאַש), is commonly known as a reference to Haman, the villain of Purim, as described in the Book of Esther. A more likely source of the name is a corruption of the Yiddish word מאן־טאשן (montashn) or the German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches. Over time, this name was transformed to Hamantaschen, likely by association with Haman. In Israel, they are called Oznei Haman (Hebrew: אוזני המן‎), Hebrew for "Haman's ears" where children are jokingly told these tasty pastries are the ears of Haman.


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