On Hanukkah is it customary to eat foods that are either fried in oil, or made with cheese.
The fried foods custom recalls the miracle of Hanukkah, which centered around oil (one cruse lasting for eight days). Latkes (fried potato pancakes) are traditional, topped with applesauce or sour cream, but there are many creative variations to the pancakes and the toppings. Other fried foods for Hanukkah include jelly doughnuts, and other kinds of fritters.
The cheesy foods tradition is based on a story from the apocryphal Book of Judith which takes place during the time of the Maccabbean revolt that we commemorate on Hannukkah.. There we read that in his quest to conquer Judea, an Assyrian warrior named Holofernes besieged the town of Bethulia. Though Bethulia’s elders were ready to surrender, Judith, a widow, entered the Assyrian camp and gave Holofernes salty cheese to make him thirsty, and wine to make him drunk. After he became intoxicated, she seized his sword and beheaded him, bringing the head back to her village in a basket. The next morning when the Assyrian troops found the headless body of their leader, they fled in terror. In honor of Judith’s victorious and brave use of cheese, we incorporate the food into our Hanukkah menus.
Sweet Potato Latkes
Gingered Sweet Potato Latkes
Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
Sweet Potato Latkes with Toasted Marshmallows
Grilled Cheese Latkes
Pulled Brisket-Topped Latkes
French Onion Latkes
Colorful Veggie Latkes
Cajun Potato Latkes
Pear and Ginger Sauce
Apple Cranberry Sauce
Pesto Latke Topping
Peanut Butter Jelly doughnuts
Bimuelos, honey drizzled fritter
Torzelli, deep-fried curly endive
Tostones, fried plantains
Mozzarella in Carrozza, a fried cheese sandwich
Deep Fried Chocolate Cupcakes
Jelly-Filled “Sufganiyot” Cupcakes
Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes
Beer-Battered Pumpkin Rings
Chocolate Covered Hanukkah Oreos
Bourban Pecan and Chocolate Gelt Pie
Spiced Hot Chocolate, made with leftover Hanukkah gelt
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