Hamantashen For Ukraine, Explained

Anyone who has celebrated Purim most likely has encountered a hamantashen or two. According to The Nosher, this triangular cookie comes filled with a variety of fillings, like fruit, chocolate, or Nutella. The exterior can have either a crumbly texture or a softer feel if the baker decides to use dairy in its preparation. 

The Jewish pastry possibly symbolizes the three-cornered hat worn by the legendary villain Haman, or potentially the ears of Haman, and it references the practice of "cutting off a criminal's ears before his execution." Either way, the cookie embodies the Jewish holiday of Purim, a holiday that honors the triumph of good over evil. 

Another group has tapped into this cookie's long heritage and symbolic status in the baking world as part of the ongoing war in Ukraine. According to Eater, Laurel Kratochvila decided to use this pastry to do some good. The baker, who currently operates her own bakery in Berlin, took inspiration from the stories behind Purim and decided to help Ukraine. 

Kratochvila saw the conflict as modern version of the Haman story. "I suppose the parallel that I draw is that of the modern-day evil — here being Putin and what he's doing to the Ukrainian people," Kratochvila said. "But also the possibility of good triumphing. It's pretty universal."

People are baking hamantashen for Ukraine

Baker Laurel Kratochivla decided to take action and started Hamantashen for Ukraine. The organization aims to donate the profits from sales of associated bakers to the Polish Humanitarian Action, which help refugees fleeing across the border escape the war. 

Kratochivla recommends that any participating bakers select one flavor of hamantashen to donate sales from and suggests using a PayPal account to donate to the humanitarian charity.

Eater reports that the group quickly launched with 130 bakers across the world assisting in the charity efforts. In honor of the spirit of hamantashen triumphing over evil, Kratochivla also shared a signature poppy seed hamantashen recipe to get more bakers in the spirit. 

"Bakers tend to be pretty socially minded and community-oriented. It's a hard job and you only do it if you love it and care about what you have to offer through your craft," she said. "As far as bakers coming together at the drop of a hat for a good cause, I'm not surprised at all."

Even though Purim has officially come to a close, the baking movement continues to move forward. Kratochivla has asked fellow bakers to keep donating via sales of Jewish pastries. With a bit of momentum, Hamantashen for Ukraine has helped make a notable impact and, at the very least, has organized bakers into political action via cookies.