Why Fast Food Is the Ultimate Hanukkah Meal
Aside from going to temple, giving gifts, and playing with dreidels, Hanukkah is celebrated by eating foods fried in oil. The tradition is in homage to the miracle of the oil used by the Maccabees in a menorah that burned for eight nights instead of just one.
Typically, Jewish people eat fried potato pancakes called latkes and deep-fried jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot. However, those observing the eight-day holiday are encouraged to eat pretty much any food that’s fried or cooked in oil, which got us thinking: Fast food might just be the ultimate Hanukkah meal.
Fast food menus feature many items deep-fried in oil. While it may not be traditional (or kosher), the idea of fried fast food items adheres to the theme of foods typically consumed throughout the Hanukkah celebration.
If you’re positively sick of latkes, fast food is your friend. Just think about french fries. Order them from your local McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King with a dipping sauce as your makeshift latkes and apple sauce or sour cream.
Heck, even Dunkin and Taco Bell have menu items that are fried or cooked in oil. Taco Bell has chalupas as well as tortilla chips — both fried. If you’re craving something Asian, places like Panda Express sell egg rolls and chicken dishes like their super-popular orange chicken, which is — you guessed it — also fried.
Doughnuts are an obvious one, because sufganiyot are basically jelly doughnuts. If you’re not interested in a doughnut with a filling, try an apple fritter. Apples are used for flavor in various holiday traditions, including those around Hanukkah.
If you’re celebrating Hanukkah with fried food, we definitely recommend the 75 best fried chicken places in America — it’s probably as close to Bubbe’s schmaltz (chicken fat) as you’re going to get this holiday.
Of course, nothing compares to eating an actual Hanukkah meal with a matzo ball soup course, a gefilte fish course, a meat course, and lots of latkes and kugel, but if you don’t want to cook or if you don’t have time, you can always celebrate the Festival of Lights with fast food. If you don’t feel like celebrating the traditional American way or with the American tradition of fast food, check out how these 21 countries around the world celebrate Hanukkah.