Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011

Why Fried Means Festive

The most popular way to prepare Hanukkah dishes is to fry them in oil — an homage to the miracle that inspired the annual celebration. The holiday's culinary mainstays are potato pancakes (latkes) served with applesauce and sour cream, and jelly doughnuts known as sufganiyot. But regional differences have introduced a variety of deliciously fried foods: Jews in Greece eat deep-fried dough soaked in honey, known as loukoumades; Russian revelers cook buckwheat flapjacks; and in Spain the observant fry up fritters called bunuelos in schmaltz (goose fat). One enterprising company in Israel has even created a doughnut injected with vodka that contains as much alcohol as a glass of beer.