There has been a custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil (preferably olive oil) for two millennia to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping the flame in the Temple alight for eight days. Traditional foods include potato pancakes, known as latkes in Yiddish, especially among Ashkenazi families. Sephardi, Polish and Israeli families eat jam-filled doughnuts, bimuelos (fritters) and sufganiyot which are deep-fried in oil.
Hanukkah is very much a family Festival as everyone gathers around the Menorah when the candle is lit each night, an extra one for each of the eight days. After the Blessing the whole family join in with singing of the hymn Maoz Tsur. Another custom of Hanukkah is that of the Hanukkah Gelt (money) being given to the children in the family.
Amongst all the rich foods that are eaten at Hanukkah there is a main favourite and that is the Latke which is mainly made with potato, but over recent years has also become popular when made with carrots or a variety of other vegetables. Hanukkah is not a time to think of healthy eating, for these eight days it is a time of family coming together, cooking, baking and enjoying these delicious traditional recipes.
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