Not just potato anymore: Frying wide variety of latkes for Hanukkah 2023

The smell of onion-laced potato latkes frying is unmistakable, and it’s about to permeate homes in the D.C. area.

Thursday marks the first of eight nights of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Families and friends will gather for meals that include traditional food, like doughnuts. In Hebrew, it’s sufganiyot.

Fried foods, including latkes and doughnuts, celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah. After the Maccabee tribe recaptured ancient Jerusalem, the lamp in the temple appeared to have only enough oil to burn for one night. Instead, it stayed alight for eight days.

While the traditional potato latke has been a Jewish family staple, usually served with sour cream or applesauce, latkes have branched out, with dozens of internationally-flavored versions with recipes compiled in the online magazine, “Hey Alma.”

Starting with close cousins, like sweet potato latkes, options include spinach latkes, broccoli stem latkes, cheese latkes, and those made of beets.

Japanese-style latkes include cabbage, green onions, carrot, and daikon radish. Plantain latkes with avocado cremo offer a Latin twist.

Indian-spiced cauliflower latkes and kimchi latkes widen the variety even more.

The Italian version, spaghetti latkes, widens the #teamsourcream and #teamapplesauce debate. It’s topped with a dollop of tomato sauce and a small meatball.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up