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February 12, 2021 1:34 pm

Bon Appetit Magazine Edits Hamantaschen Article to ‘Better Convey’ Purim Holiday and Jewish Culture

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Bon Appetit magazine’s 2015 article about hamantaschen.

As part of its “Archive Repair Project,” Bon Appetit magazine on Wednesday changed the headline and content of a 2015 article about the Purim cookie hamantaschen and apologized for its “stereotypical characterizations of Jewish culture.”

In an “editor’s note” published at the start of the piece, the magazine said, “The original version of this article included language that was insensitive toward Jewish food traditions and does not align with our brand’s standards … We have edited the headline, dek and content to better convey the history of Purim and the goals of this particular recipe. We apologize for the previous version’s flippant tone and stereotypical characterizations of Jewish culture.”

The article’s original headline “How to Make Actually Good Hamantaschen” was changed to “5 Steps to Really Good Hamantaschen.” Bon Appetit removed the sub-heading in which the article’s non-Jewish writer said in “full disclosure” that because she attended “roughly three Bar or Bat Mitzvahs a weekend during 1992” and cooks professionally, she thought she could “at least weigh in on the Jewish cookie department.”

Among other things changed in the article’s content was the description of the Jewish holiday of Purim. Writer Dawn Perry, who is also Bon Appetit‘s digital food editor, originally said “The story of Purim involves a bad guy, Haman, a nice Jewish lady, Esther, and her ultimate victory over his plot to destroy the Jewish people.”

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Bon Appetit also deleted six sentences about Perry’s observation that Jews and non-Jews alike on the BA staff “could only call up childhood memories of dry and sandy hamantaschen that left your mouth coated with a weird film,” and her desire to “convert the haters … To create a hamantaschen that we could all enjoy, regardless of religious upbringing or tainted Hebrew School memories.”

The response seemed unnecessary to some Twitter users, who found nothing offensive in the article’s original text or headline.

“What was supposed to offend me? I don’t get it. I always liked the regular hamantaschen. I like the ones filled with poppy seeds,” wrote one user.

“I am mostly confused,” tweeted another. “… because every hamentashen I have has been good?”

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