Hanukkah is here! Time for the perfect excuse for indulging in the most delicious of foods. Not sure what to eat first? Well, we are here to help! Here are some of the best foods to eat during Hanukkah.
Of course, we have to start our look at Hanukkah food with the humble latke, this moorish treat that we can’t be left alone with a plate of. Latkes are small potato pancakes that are fried until crispy. The basic recipe calls for potato, though often people add things like onions and carrots as well. In fact, like with all traditional foods, the humble latkes can be made to suit anyone’s tastebuds. So long as they’re fried, and delicious, we will try them all!
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Loukoumades are puffs of pastry made from leavened and deep fried dough, often dipped in honey or sugar. These are said to represent the food prepared by the Maccabees before hurrying into battle. Thankfully you don’t have to hurry anywhere after eating your loukoumades; you’ll be too stuffed to move!
Challah is a special bread that is eaten over many Jewish holidays, including Hanukkah. It is a soft, rich, and sweet bread that is often covered in poppy seeds, and is typically formed into a braided loaf, though other varieties come in a round loaf or even a star. It is traditional to put a small piece of the challah dough aside to be burned as an offering.
Time for something sweet already? Well, okay then! Sufganiyots are round doughnuts prepared by frying, and filled with either jam or custard before they are dusted with powdered sugar. You can of course get them with other filllings depending on where you are in the world; try dulce de leche, vanilla cream, or even creme espresso if you’re feeling particularly indulgent!
Apple cake has become a staple of many homes for Hanukkah; who doesn’t love an excuse for good apple cake? This particular apple cake is a dense, moist cake made with chunks of apple and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and typically formed into a ring. Where can we get us a slice?
While these are not specifically made for Hanukkah, Hamantash often find their way on to the dinner table in Jewish homes over the festive period. They are a type of cookie or pastry formed into a triangular shape, typically filled with an apricot prune or a poppy seed filling. You will also find variants with other fruit fillings or even chocolate. Be warned, these are moorish, and homely, and you will want more than one!
Doughnut and other edible menorahs
For the young people celebrating Hanukkah with you, lighting candles on the menorah is all well and good, but isn’t always all that much fun once the novelty has worn off. Which is why some families make an edible version to keep their interest; variations include doughnut, fruit, or even Nutella and marshmallow. Here are a few ideas for you to try yourself!
Blintzes are a popular Hanukkah treat though are also fairly popular all year round. These are are a crepe-style pancake that is filled with typically sweet ricotta cheese, or really any number of cheeses, and then baked. They are often topped with apple sauce and sour cream, and no, one is never enough. You can also make sweet versions of these, but traditional cheese blintzes are by far the best!
For another traditional Jewish food during Hanukkah, you have to try Kugel. Kugel is either a casserole or pudding depending on how you make it, and often served as a side dish. Typically, kugel is prepared with either egg noodles or potatoes, though can be made with bread, rice, or anything else starchy! Kugel can be savoury or sweet depending on how you prepare it (or how sweet your tooth is).
However, you’re celebrating Hanukkah we hope it is a good one. May it be eight days of festivities, joy, and peace! And after all that overindulgence and resting, if you feel like learning a little Hebrew, or even any other language, we are here to help! Our native-speaking tutors are available for tailormade programs of study to suit your needs, whatever your language level or your schedule. Drop us a quick inquiry to see how our courses work.