Latkes originally derived from Italian ricotta pancakes and became part of the Hanukkah culinary tradition because they combined the two popular food symbols of the holiday: fried food and dairy.
In a large bowl, beat together the cheese, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
In a large skillet or griddle, heat a thin layer of oil or butter over medium heat. In batches, drop the batter 1 heaping tablespoon at a time and fry until the top is set and the bottom is browned slightly, about 3 minutes. Turn and fry until golden, about 2 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon-sugar, or fresh fruit.