Sheilah Kaufman: Hi! I am Sheilah Kaufman and today we are learning about Hanukkah. Now we are going to learn about Latkes, the star of every Hanukkah meal. Love the smell and taste of crisp, newly fried hot oniony potato Latkes, never made a Latkes, intimidated by the idea of making your own. What a is Latkes? Well Latkes comes from the Greek word for olive oil. What is an Ashkenazic term for pancake. Particularly those pancakes served at Hanukkah.
The potato Latkes originated with a German-Austrian juice. Probably, they grate potatoes or other root vegetables were an ideal cold weather food and interestingly enough a terrific match with apple sauce which was also widely available at this time of the year. Fried Latkes remind us of the oil that was used in the cruise in the temple and lasted for eight days. The irony of Latkes is that potatoes were unknown in ancient Israel. Judah Maccabee never ate a potato Latkes. It was also unknown in the rest of the world. Now the best potatoes to use for making Latkes are Russet's and Idaho's. Now Idaho potatoes are Russet but they are only grown in Idaho. And these potatoes have a higher starch contain and don't require as much flour or Matzo meal as a binder. When serving a Latkes, the ideal side dish is apple sauce or sour cream which cuts the acid of the fried foods. In my house, I always make one kind of Latkes and at least one or two other kinds of Latkes because I like to start my own new traditions. I also make dips and food that use olive oil as an ingredient and of course cheese dishes.
I love to start my own new traditions for holidays. So for Hanukkah, besides making regular potato pancakes, I like to make sweet potato pancake with scallions and I love to make apple cinnamon pancakes. The apple cinnamon pancakes are made with granny smith or MacIntosh apples and lemon zest, egg, sugar matzo meal and then they are served with cinnamon sugar on top while they are hot. These are sweet potato Latkes and the secret ingredients, it's fresh, grated or minced ginger and serve them with sour cream and apple sauce.
I hope you enjoyed making these new recipes and starting your own new traditions for Hanukkah.