Hamantaschen. Which is to say, poppy hamantaschen.(Chef Elf/Flickr)

Purim is Saturday night, and before the merrymaking is underway, let’s get one thing clear. As we learned in Wednesday’s New York Times—from Tablet Magazine contributing editor Joan Nathan—no matter what you are eating in your hamantashen (or what you think is your hamantashen), be it more typical prune or apricot or, if you find yourself at Tel Aviv’s Lehamim Bakery (which Nathan reports on), marzipan, halvah, pistachio, or marshmallows (!), let’s be clear about one thing: You’re only eating hamantashen if it is filled with poppy seeds.

People, this is science. Or at least language. Nathan quotes an Israeli food historian: “The meaning in German was mohn—poppy seeds—and tash—pocket.” “Poppy seed pockets,” folks.

Modern Flavors Transform a Purim Tradition [NYT]