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Hanukkah Foods

Hanukkah Foods

Latkes, Donuts and Cheese


Oil played a significant role in the Chanukah story—the small jug of oil that miraculously provided fuel for the Temple Menorah for eight days. It is a Jewish tradition to eat foods that reflect the significance of a holiday – such as matzah on Passover, and apple dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah – and Chanukah is no exception. For at least the last thousand years, Jews have traditionally eaten oily foods on Chanukah.

Among the most popular Chanukah dishes are potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiot (deep-fried doughnuts).

Actually, oil is also symbolic of the spiritual war waged by the Maccabees. See The War Is All About The Oil for more on this topic.

It is also customary to eat dairy foods on Chanukah, in commemoration of the bravery of Yehudit. Click here to read the story of this brave woman whose daring courage led to a great Maccabee victory.

Click here for traditional Chanukah recipes.

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Jason Ohio December 16, 2015

Latkes First, I just want to tell you how informative your site is. I originally came here after seeing a large electric menorah at a trade show. I was curious about the lighting of it, etc. (I'm not Jewish, myself). Several pages later I was still reading about Chanukah! I just wanted to pass along that for anyone who is trying to eat low carb, my family has found that turnips, or better yet zucchini can be used to make delicious latkes. Oddly enough, my dad makes latkes and has even served them on Christmas morning. (I hope that's ok!)
Happy Chanukah to you all! Reply

Helen Dudden Bristol December 6, 2015

Letting our lights shine. A time to let light into our world. To me it feels very special, as a stranger who is welcomed. Reply

Anonymous December 16, 2014

What is the source for jelly donuts as a Chanukah food? As far as I have been able to learn, our ancestors in Europe made potato latkes for Chanukah. It seems only Israelis who perhaps couldn't get potatoes in the early years of their state decided to create a new food for the season.

is there any source for eating jelly donuts on Chanukah? Reply

Michael Hataway Riverchase Middle School, Pelham, Alabama March 13, 2014

Hanukkah My class is doing a project and I picked Hanukkah. I respect Jews and there customs. Plus I think the food will be very good plus they get a present each day of the lighting of the monorah. Reply

karen old tappan, new jersey November 28, 2011

chanukah I always refer to your site for the Jewish holidays-the holidays are explained clearly and unencumbered. I didn't realize dairy was a traditional category of food to eat on Chanukah-is that why we use sour cream on the latkes? Keep up the great site!!! Reply

Audrey Draper December 14, 2010

the food I am doing the food of haukkah for my class. We are doing different holidays I wanted to do it cause I thought that It would be fun. I love it

but im not jewish so thats sad but the recipes look really good.

thank you !!!!!!!!! Reply

Evi Teitler Zurich, Switzerland December 2, 2010

Chanukah Information excellently done! Thank you. Reply

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