Virtual Hanukkah

As we celebrate the holidays, Hanukkah would not be as fun unless you started out with the quintessential plate of latkes and fresh apple sauce.

A latke (Yiddish: לאַטקע‎; sometimes romanized latka) is a type of potato pancake in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine that is traditionally prepared to celebrate Hanukkah.


Some version of latkes goes back to at least the Middle Ages. They were probably made of cheese (probably either ricotta or curd cheese), fried in poppyseed oil or butter, and served with fruit preserves. These cheese latkes were the most common kind of latke in Ashkenazi communities until the 19th century, when the potato arrived in eastern Europe. At the time, the cheapest and most readily available cooking fat was schmaltz, rendered poultry fat (usually from a goose or chicken), and due to Jewish dietary laws, which prohibit the mixing of meat and dairy products, alternatives to the cheese latke were introduced. These included buckwheat or rye flour, or other tubers endemic to the region, such as turnips. As the potato became popular in eastern Europe, it was quickly adopted to the point that today, latke is almost synonymous with potatoes.

Joanne's Latkes

4 Medium Sized Potatoes, Peeled

1/2 Small Onion, Peeled

2 Tsp Salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Tbls Matzah meal

2 Eggs

Oil for Frying

1. Grate peeled potatoes and onions.

2. Put mixture into bowl, add salt, pepper and matzah meal.

3. In a second bowl, beat eggs together. Add eggs to potato mixture and stir together

4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Gently drop spoonfuls of batter into the pan.

5. Fry on each side for about 2-4 minutes or until golden brown. Use a spatula to turn them. Add more oil as needed. Dry on a paper towel.

6. Serve with applesauce, sour cream or powdered sugar. Check out our blog for this recipe as well as Joanne's fresh apple sauce recipe.

Joanne's Fresh Apple Sauce

4 Apples. Peeled, cored and chopped

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook over medium heat for 12-20 minutes or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mast with a fork or potato masher.

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