Hamantaschen – Hámántáska

by | Apr 26, 2024 | Breads, buns & biscuits

Hungarian Jewish cuisine is a vibrant fusion of Hungarian culinary traditions with Jewish dietary laws and cultural influences. It reflects the rich history and heritage of the Jewish community in Hungary, which dates back centuries. One of the most iconic treats, besides flódni, in Hungarian Jewish gastronomy is Hamantaschen, also known as “Haman’s ears” or “oznei Haman” in Hebrew.

Hamantaschen are triangular-shaped pastries typically filled with sweet fillings such as poppy seeds, fruit preserves, or nuts. These delightful pastries are associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim, a festive occasion commemorating the salvation of the Jewish people from the villainous Haman around 450 BC, as recounted in the Book of Esther. The name “Hamantaschen” is derived from Haman, the antagonist of the Purim story.

According to the story, thanks to the intervention of Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai, the Jews were saved from the destructive plans of the evil ministerial adviser Haman, and the threat to their lives turned from one day to joy – celebrated on Purim with carnival atmosphere, merrymaking and eating and drinking.

The preparation of Hamantaschen is a cherished tradition passed down through generations, with families often coming together to bake these delicious pastries in the days leading up to Purim. The triangular shape of the pastries is said to symbolize Haman’s tri-cornered hat or his ears, further connecting the treat to the Purim narrative.

In Hungarian Jewish culture, Hamantaschen may have their own unique twists and flavors, reflecting local preferences and ingredients. Traditional Hungarian fillings such as apricot jam, plum butter, or poppy seeds are commonly found in Hungarian Jewish Hamantaschen recipes, adding a touch of regional flair to this classic treat.

Hamantaschen - Hámántáska
Hamantaschen – Hámántáska – photo: zserbo.com
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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