My apologies for not being able to post yesterday. I ended up being pretty busy with other things. Anyway, here is my 4th installment for Hanukkah (I guess I am going to end up a day behind on all of these):
Like Christmas, Hanukkah is celebrated with its own unique traditions, games and most importantly...FOOD! As most people already know, Hanukkah's "big gun" food (the equivalent of the Christmas fruit cake I guess) are latkes.
Typically, latkes are made from potatoes that are sliced (grated) into small pieces. The potatoes are then usually mixed with flour, eggs, salt, and sometimes a bit of green onion. Next, the latkes are patted into patties, usually approximately 2 inches in size or so. They are then cooked in oil (preferably olive) for a couple of minutes, topped with sour cream, sugar or any other desired topping, and then SCARFED!
The tradition of eating latkes is actually quite old. Although the earliest latkes were not made of potatoes (potatoes, of course, didn't come onto the scene until after the discovery of America) latkes have always been cooked in oil as a way to celebrate the miracle of the menorah oil. The traditional foods consumed during the Hanukkah holiday are symbolic of the events being celebrated. Most are fried in oil, symbolic of the oil that lasted eight days. Pancakes are a traditional dish, serving as a reminder of the food hurriedly prepared for the Maccabees as they went into battle, along with the oil they are fried in as a reminder of the miraculous oil.
Click here to see a few excellent recipes for latkes.