Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, is a celebration of freedom focusing on a miracle. After the army of Antiochus IV (Syria) had been driven from the Temple, the Jews, led by the Maccabee family, discovered that all of the ritual olive oil had been desecrated. A single container sealed by the High Priest, with enough oil to keep the menorah lit for a single day, was found. They used this, yet it burned for eight days -the time it took to have new oil pressed!
During Hanukkah, we eat food fried in oil to commemorate the miracle associated with the Temple oil. Probably the most famous food eaten during Hanukkah is the potato latke, or pancake. If you haven’t already, try Deb Moidel’s Potato Latke recipe on page 57 of Beth El’s Fishes, Knishes and Other Tasty Dishes cookbook or click HERE for the recipe.
Another popular food eaten by Jews all over the world during Hanukkah is the donut. In Israel they are called Sufganiyot. The doughnut is deep-fried, filled with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar. Thanks to Daniel Seigel for sharing this Sephardic style donut with me. The Chaverim class (6th graders) made Bunuelos (or Bimuelos), which is a rustic-yeast raised and fried donut topped with honey. Of-course I always try to include chocolate in our cooking classes, so we made it even more delicious by stuffing chocolate in the dough before frying! YUMO!
Click HERE for this delicious recipe.