Hanukkah Food Traditions? Discuss.

December  3, 2012

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.

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  • Nancy
  • buhbuyuy
  • brewgirl
  • healthierkitchen
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Nancy December 6, 2020
2020 link to Branch (discussion platform) goes nowhere. Site appears dead.
ANJOO January 13, 2014
What's the point in using Branch if you could have this discussion in the COMMENTS section?
buhbuyuy May 31, 2013
brewgirl December 4, 2012
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.
healthierkitchen December 4, 2012
This was really interesting, thanks! No sour cream with latkes if there's meat in the meal if kosher!
Kitchen B. December 4, 2012
OK, I'm going to ask someone to recommend a 'simple guide' to Jewish Holidays. I want to understand I come across so many references to them, so help!
ATG117 December 3, 2012
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.
Sam1148 December 3, 2012
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.
creamtea December 3, 2012
Nope, cornstarch is not kosher for Passover, but then, it doesn't have to be to eat latkes on Chanukah :)
dferst December 4, 2012
Actually it is kosher for passover if you're sephardic.
creamtea December 4, 2012
Under certain conditions, yes, but I was responding to Sam's post, to say that Passover kashrut is not a requirement on Chanukah.