It is no accident that Hanukkah comes in the darkest time of year. The winter holidays are about light, about miracles, and about waking up to light when it is least visible to the naked eye. Food-wise, we jolt our senses alive through texture, taste and flavor with fried foods that couple warmth, crispness, and the smoothness of oil in order to reinvigorate and fine-tune us just as the sun begins to seemingly disappear altogether.
For some, Hanukkah is "the potato pancake holiday" – a holiday that takes the mundane potato and gives it a massive makeover. It is shredded and tossed and recombined, squeezed and remolded into new form and then fried up lightly so that its texture shifts, its flavor alters. The latke (pancake) itself becomes the miracle of light, of oil, and of transformation.
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