An authentic Hanukkah celebration means indulging in a delicious spread of traditional Hanukkah foods prepared in the spirit of gratitude. These dishes are meant to be comforting and to remind observers of the ancient miracle involving the Jewish Maccabees. But the holiday celebrates more than just divine providence; it also celebrates abundance. And there’s no better way to celebrate abundance than with food! Check out these traditional yummy treats!
LATKES - These fried potato pancakes are possibly the best-known Hanukkah food. The oil used to fry them is a commemoration of the oil in the temple lamps. Made of shredded potatoes and onions, much like hash browns, they’re traditionally topped with applesauce and served as a side dish.
KUGEL - Kugel is a sweet casserole that originated in Central Europe. It’s made using egg noodles baked with sugar, eggs, and sour cream. Raisins and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg can be added. It’s a rich dessert that tops many people’s favorite Hanukkah foods and provides the flavor of many beloved holiday memories.
RUGELACH - Sweets are a must-have Hanukkah food, and this version of traditional European pastries is a treasure. Originating in Poland, rugelach is a bakery staple. These flaky crescent pastries are filled with nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate, and the dough includes sour cream and cream cheese to impart an undeniably rich flavor.
SUFGANIOT - These traditional jelly-filled donuts are plump and pillowy, topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and served as a dessert treat. They’re another fried Hanukkah food that commemorates the importance of oil in the Hanukkah celebration. The filling can be flavored in several ways; though fruit jelly is standard, sweet custard can be substituted if preferred.
CHALLAH - This quintessential Jewish bread, representative of manna sent by God to sustain the Jews as they wandered the desert in Biblical times, is easily recognized on a standard Hanukkah table. Made crisp and brown with an egg wash on top and shaped in a thick braid, it’s both crusty and fluffy and makes a perfect side for soaking up delicious brisket juices.