Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, is an annual Jewish celebration that falls around the end of the calendar year. It commemorates the miraculous victory of the tiny Maccabee army against the gigantic army of the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks). And according to the legend, that wasn’t the only miracle that occurred.
When the Maccabees claimed their victory, they were able to reclaim the temple of Jerusalem. However, they found that they did not have enough purified oil to light the temple’s grand lanterns for celebration. Miraculously, one small flask of oil lasted eight full days and nights — just long enough to prepare a fresh supply of pure oil.
People around the world celebrate Hanukkah in all kinds of ways. Some people play dreidel. Some people dance the hora. Families come together to say prayers and light a special menorah called a hannukiah in commemoration of the ancient tale.
But no matter how you celebrate, there’s one thing that’s for sure: Great food is going to be involved. Many of these foods have symbolic significance. Fried foods, for instance, are popular due to the oil used to make them. The oil symbolizes the oil the Maccabees used to light the temple’s lanterns.
Perhaps the most famous Hanukkah food is the latke: a fried potato pancake typically topped with either sour cream or applesauce. Crispy on the edges, greasy and delicious… But latkes aren’t the only treat to look forward to when Hanukkah rolls around. Here are eight delicious recipes to celebrate all eight days and nights.