Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is the eight-day Jewish celebration held every year in December. It commemorates the miracle of light that happened when Judah rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem to God. It’s celebrated every night with traditions like prayers, menorah lightings, and special Hanukkah dishes.
One of the most important Hanukkah traditions is eating fried foods, to symbolize the miracle of the oil lighting the menorah in the Temple and burning for eight days and nights. As Jews live all over the world, from Italy and Morocco to Colombia and India, each community has their own way of celebrating Hanukkah. In Italy, you’ll find fried chicken and in Colombia, it’s fried plantains. In Spain it’s fried eggplants, while Syrians love fried leek fritters. And almost every Jewish community does their own delicious version of sweet fried doughnuts. To celebrate Hanukkah, we’re rounding up eight of the tastiest Hanukkah dishes enjoyed around the world.
1. SWEET FRIED DOUGHNUTS
One of the most common – and delicious – foods eaten at Hanukkah are doughnuts. You’ll find variations of Jewish sweet fried doughnuts all over the world.
FRITTELLE DI CHANUKAH
2. FRIED CHICKEN
Originating with Ashkenazi Jews, a blintz is a rolled, stuffed pancake similar to French crepes, Hungarian palacsinta, or Polish nalesniki. These delicious treats can be sweet or savoury and are usually filled with sweet soft cheese like dry curd cheese or ricotta. Blintzes are traditionally enjoyed on Hanukkah to honour Judith, a Jewish widow who killed the Assyrian king after giving him lots of cheese and wine. Today you’ll find blintzes in central European countries like Hungary, Slovakia and Poland and in American Jewish delis.