Potato Latkes and Doughnuts
Fried foods such as potato latkes and doughnuts represent the miracle of the untainted olive oil that burned for eight days. After the Jewish rebels defeated the occupying forces, they set about rededicating the holy temple in Jerusalem only to find they just barely had enough oil to keep the menorah burning for one night.
The legend goes that the oil miraculously lasted eight days, giving them enough time to get more oil and prevent the eternal flame burning out. Therefore, the eating of fried foods is encouraged during Hanukah as a way to remember the miracle that kept the menorah lit for eight days.
Cheese and Cheesecake
Cheese is eaten to remember the story of the villager Judith. Judith used her beauty and a basket of cheese with wine to talk her way into the occupying Babylonian army camp. When the guards and the leader, Holofernes, were passed out drunk, she beheaded Holofernes with his sword. She then returned to her village, the next morning, without a leader, the army fled and the town was saved. Cheese, cheesecake, and blintzes honor Judith’s bravery and heroism.
Dreidel is a game often played during the days of Hanukah. Chocolate coins are commonly used in the game for both kids and adults to enjoy!
A favorite main dish because it feeds a crowd and can be slowly roasted, warming the belly during the cold winter months.
Challah is an egg bread typically eaten on major Jewish holidays. It’s made in various sizes and is typically braided. How the bread is braided determines the symbolism behind the loaf.