The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah begins at sundown tomorrow night, but the traditional fried foods and desserts of the holiday should have people of any faith relishing the next eight nights. So whether or not you celebrate the Festival of Lights, you should consider adding some of the holiday recipes to your repertoire.
If you're looking to plan a whole menu, Bon Appetit has a collection of its Hanukkah menus from around the world over the past few years. If you just want to dip your toe in the water, you can either go savory or sweet.
Latkes -- The most iconic food is the latke, or potato pancake, for which I shared my grandfather's recipe last year. You'll never look at hash browns the same way again.
Kugel -- A traditional pudding, this almost casserole-like dish can be a dessert or a savory side dish. Odds are, you've had one made with noodles or potatoes.
Brisket -- It's not a universal food on the holiday, but are you going to argue with a slow-cooked piece of tender brisket? I didn't think so.
Gelt -- Gold- or foil-wrapped chocolate coins. These can be eaten or bet during a game of dreidel -- a spinning top with symbols on its side that tells you whether to take or add from a pot at the center of the players. You can find small bags of gelt at CVS and Target.
Butter Cookies -- Rich, butter-laden cookies in the shape of dreidels, Jewish stars, or menorahs -- a candelabra that holds candles for each night of the holiday.
Sufganiyot -- These are Israeli jelly doughnuts, a puff of fried dough filled with fruit jam or jelly. When made right, they're the equal of Lamar's or Donut King.
Loukoumades -- Have you ever had a fried honey puff? The traditional Greek dessert is also served on Hanukkah and is served with a honey syrup for dipping. Loukomades even has its own Facebook page.
[Image via Flickr: slgckgc]