Latkes (2024)

It might be hard to believe that mere potato pancakes can symbolize the hardships and strife that the Jews have endured. These potato pancakes (called latkes) are meant to symbolize the miracle of Hanukkah, when the oil of the menorah in the ransacked Second Temple of Jerusalem was able to stay aflame for eight days even though there was only enough oil for one day. The symbolism comes in the form of the oil in which latkes are fried. Over a thousand years later, this miracle is still being celebrated by Jews across the world. Making latkes is one way in which the Hanukkah is celebrated. As a result of this, the tradition of making latkes is maintained in my family, and is typically a task that falls into the hands of my grandma. Every Hanukkah, my grandma’s latke recipe is used, whether the latkes are made by my grandma herself, my dad, or someone else in the family. The recipe is simple; first potatoes are grated and mixed with egg or some other binding ingredient, onions might be included in the mixture if desired. Afterwards, the potato mixture is formed into small circular pancake-like shapes. Finally, the pancakes are fried in oil until hot and crispy. Latkes are typically eaten dipped in sour cream or applesauce. Making latkes is a Jewish tradition that has been passed down for centuries, and has found itself in my family. In conclusion, latkes are important to me because they help preserve my family’s heritage, and they also taste really good.

Place(s): New York

– Wade Wichard

Relationship: Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant

Latkes (2024)
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