Hanukkah is upon us, with the eight-day festival beginning on the evening of December 10th this year. This holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a late addition to the Jewish liturgical calendar, but it’s a joyous and beloved occasion. It celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE, and it represents defiance against enemies to the Jewish faith, both past, and present. Like Passover, it celebrates freedom from oppression.
Hanukkah is not Biblically ordained, so its liturgy is not very well-developed. Occurring so near to Christmas, though, it’s become the major gift-giving holiday in the Jewish calendar of the Western world. Many Hanukkah customs take place at home, though as the holiday has evolved, it’s assumed a more communal aspect, with celebrations with singing and traditional games such as dreidel, as well as public candle lighting. Lighting the menorah is a critical tradition done to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah, in which one cruse of oil provided light for eight days.
Another nod to the cruse of oil is eating foods fried in oil or made with cheese. Jelly donuts called sufganiyot are famous, as are honey drizzled fritters called bimuelos. People also enjoy savory fried treats during Hanukkah, including torzelli, a type of deep-fried curly endive, fried plantains, fried cheese sandwiches, and beer-battered pumpkin rings. There are non-fried Hanukkah treats as well, like cupcakes, hot chocolate, and Hanukkah cookies. Perhaps the most well-known customary Hanukkah food, though, is the latke.
Latkes are fried potato pancakes traditionally topped with apple sauce and sour cream. However, there are a fantastic variety of latke recipes and an equally wide range of topping options. There are simple Easy Latkes, and various types of Sweet Potato Latkes, like Gingered Sweet Potato, Curried Sweet Potato, or even Sweet Potato with Toasted Marshmallows. There are Parsnip Latkes, and Grilled Cheese Latkes, which incorporate both the fried aspect and the cheese tradition. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could make Japanese-Style Latkes, Pulled Brisket-Topped Latkes, French Onion Latkes, Cajun Potato Latkes, or Loaded Baked Potato Latkes. If you prefer to keep your latkes simple and experiment with toppings instead, try Basil Pesto, Pear and Ginger Compote, or Cranberry Applesauce.
When you’re shopping for the elements of your Hanukkah meals, you’ll find everything you need at NetCost Market. For over 20 years, we’ve been committed to helping our customers save time and money while offering them the world of food all in one place. We’re a local grocer with a global reach, providing a selection of everyday food products and various culinary delights from around the world. Our goal is to provide authentic, high-quality food products from local farmers and suppliers worldwide. When you shop with NetCost Market, you’ll find a comfortable and gratifying shopping experience that even includes online shopping and home grocery delivery.