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Hanukkah Food Traditions? Discuss.

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Last week, while cooking up Nach Waxman's Genius Brisket, our team at Food52 had an internal debate about whether it's “kosher” to serve brisket at Hanukkah. This led to a larger conversation about Hanukkah food traditions.

Today, using Branch, we've asked a couple of Jewish culture and food experts to chime in. This is an ongoing discussion, so check back as the thread grows and please share your thoughts in the comments.

Tags: Hanukkah, Jewish food traditions, Michael Ruhlman, Devra Ferst, Jennifer Steinhauer, Abby Pogrebin, Jen Snow, Melissa Clark, Gil Marks, Branch, holiday

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Comments (10)


over 1 year ago ANJOO

What's the point in using Branch if you could have this discussion in the COMMENTS section?


over 2 years ago buhbuyuy



over 2 years ago brewgirl

My mom always makes latkes like the ones Amanda mentioned above, where you soak, drain, and then gather the starch as a binding agent. It's the only way to go, IMHO. We always had brisket (with lots of carrots and onions cooked in the juice) and homemade applesauce. Also sour cream for latkes, because I grew up Reform and we didn't keep kosher. Sufganiyot were usually purchased from a local place, or we had them at synagogue -- mom usually put her foot down at frying latkes AND doughnuts.


over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

This was really interesting, thanks! No sour cream with latkes if there's meat in the meal if kosher!


over 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

OK, I'm going to ask someone to recommend a 'simple guide' to Jewish Holidays. I want to understand them....as I come across so many references to them, so help!


over 2 years ago ATG117

Latkes (grated by hand on the small side of a handheld grater, not the box grater), mixed with eggs, grated onion, salt and black pepper, no flour. Applesauce on the side. Jelly doughnuts were usually purchased, though I made them one year when I had the time. In response to the question of why doughnuts--which might have been answered--it's the fried thing. Hannukah is commemorating the oil that lasted 7 nights...oil thus fried foods. Why these particular foods? All I've got is tradition. The potatoes seem pretty intuitive. Jelly doughnuts less so. And I believe some people only eat dairy as opposed to brisket or meat, though not sure why.


over 2 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

My dirty secret for latkes is using frozen shredded hash browns.
Defrost and squeeze drain...add egg and additions. A bit of cornstarch to help bind and crisp up the surface. Is cornstarch Kosher for passover? Probably not.


over 2 years ago creamtea

Nope, cornstarch is not kosher for Passover, but then, it doesn't have to be to eat latkes on Chanukah :)


over 2 years ago dferst

Actually it is kosher for passover if you're sephardic.


over 2 years ago creamtea

Under certain conditions, yes, but I was responding to Sam's post, to say that Passover kashrut is not a requirement on Chanukah.