Every 14th day of Adar on the Hebrew calendar Jewish people celebrate Purim. It's a joyous holiday that marks the time the Persian Jewish population was saved from genocide. Okay, while Purim does have rather dark underpinnings, it really is supposed to be a fun celebration of survival full of wine, noisemakers and hamantaschen - the triangle cookie-like pastry with filling. Here’s the story behind Purim’s favorite treat.
Written in the Old Testament’s Book of Esther, the Purim saga starts in 4th century Ancient Persia. King Ahasuerus (historically, this may have been King Xerxes I) was on the lookout for a new queen after executing his first one (yeah, this story gets pretty grim). After a long search, he chose a beautiful woman named Esther, who happened to be Jewish but did not divulge this to the King. Meanwhile, the king appointed a wealthy businessman named Haman to be the prime minister. For reasons that are rather complicated and not at all hamantaschen-related Haman wanted to rid the kingdom of the Jewish people.