Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

Come light the Menorah! The festival of light is in full swing, in which we celebrate the miracle of the oil which should’ve lasted only long enough to burn for one day, but instead lasted for eight days and eight nights. To commemorate, we fry our foods in golden oil (yum!) but there are some other Hanukkah treats outside of the classic fried potato pancake that are worth celebrating as well. Here’s a list of as many tasty Jewish foods as there are nights of the Holiday, each miraculously delicious in their own right.

1. Latkes: Of course, Hanukkah is really all about the Latkes. Classic potato is absolutely delicious, but in my home we sometimes like to switch it up! Check out this recipe for a twist, where you can substitute sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip, zucchini, or whatever!

2. Gelt: If you’ve had these waxy chocolate coins, you know that they’re extremely addicting; just like the gambling centric dreidel game that predicates their consumption. Gelt isn’t exactly quality chocolate, but it’s a seasonal treat worth looking forward to every year.

3. Brisket: Initially considered a peasants food, because of the tough nature of the meat, Brisket used to have a bad rep. Nowadays, we know that it’s an absolutely mouthwatering addition to any meal, as long as you give it the proper time and attention. Just make sure you’re not serving brisket in the same meal as Kugel, or any other dish that contains dairy. You can respect the Kosher rules for a few meals a year.

4. Kugel: Kugel is actually more fun to say than it is to eat: Kugel, Kugel, Kugel! Regardless, it’s a savory sweet combo that’s worth a little bit of your stomach space.

5. Rugelah: The name translates to “little twists,” which is exactly what these mini cookies are.

6. Challah: This eggy, chewy, cushy semi-sweet bread is traditional fare on Sabbath and other Jewish Holidays (except Passover, of course, when one only eats unleavened foods.) As a child, I loved Challah so much that I begged my aunt to bake it for me in lieu of a birthday cake one year.

7. Apple Sauce: The apple sauce is mostly for topping your Latkes, but it is such a treat, one that always feels vaguely childlike to me. Making your own apple sauce is beyond easy, and that way you can control how sweet you’d like it!

8. Sufganiyot: Despite the mouthful of a name, this is basically just a jelly donut. It’s an extremely popular dish in Isreal for Hanukkah, because, like the Latke, it’s fried–which pretty much means it’s goddamn delicious.

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