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photos by gluttonforlife

12.22.11 Small Fry

Oil is one of the iconic symbols of Hanukkah, meant to remind us of the oil that kept the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit with a long-lasting flame. This miracle is celebrated with the consumption of all manner of fried treats, and the latke is front and center. Latkes are usually made from potatoes, but can often incorporate other vegetables, including sweet potatoes, celery root, apples, beets or whatever's on hand. This type of pancake is found in the cuisines of Luxembourg (gromperekichelcher), Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Belarus (draniki), Germany (Kartoffelpuffer), Poland (placki ziemniaczane), Ukraine (deruny), Hungary, Slovakia, Persia and the Czech lands (bramborák)—not to mention India and Korea (pa jeon), among others. It's a simple fritter—easy to make and easy to enjoy—with a very universal appeal. I made some last night for the first night of Hanukkah, and wished my dad were alive so I could share them with him.
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