We're still about a week away from the start of Hanukkah, but one museum is already starting to get New Yorkers into the spirit of the holiday with a traditional Jewish delicacy. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner has the story.
Crispy, golden comfort food — what's not to love about a latke?
"They taste like hash browns," said 9-year-old Kol.
"They're so traditional, and they're also really good with like applesauce and all that stuff," said 12-year-old Isa Grumbach-Bloom.
Wagner: Why do you like them?
4-year-old Sophie: They're very delicious.
Potato pancakes were the stars of the show Sunday as the Museum of Jewish Heritage played host to its first-ever Latkepalooza.
Think of the event as an appetizer to Hanukkah, which officially starts on Saturday.
"Potato pancakes are delicious and fried in oil, which are all kind of Hanukah-themed," said Samantha Hirsch, the producer of public programs for the museum. "So the story of Hanukkah was about a miracle with oil, and so now we just kind of eat that oil and burn that oil."
In addition to food, the celebration also featured live music, art projects and a theatrical performance by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Nonprofit, The Workmen's Circle, also helped organize the event, crafting activities to be both fun for children and educational for parents.
"The parents are also going to learn how to take the Hanukkah traditions into their own homes and create special traditions for their own families," said Ann Toback, the executive director of The Workmen's Circle.
There are lots of places to get great latkes in the city, but you can also make them at home. So what's the secret to getting them perfectly crispy and delicious?
David Teyf, the owner of Lox, the museum's cafe, says hand-grate the potatoes and fry them in quality oil.
"Paper-thin in small batches and you'll get the perfect latke," Teyf said.
Ben's Kosher Delicatessen donated some 500 latkes, but what was really served up was community.
Kids, parents, and grandparents alike made menorahs and memories that will last far longer than the eight-day holiday.
"Instead of giving them a gift, one of the things we are giving them is the experience of coming here, so we brought them here as part of their Hanukkah experience," said Len Goldberg, who attended Latkepalooza.
"Your heritage is important to you," said Michelle Miller, a Latkepalooza volunteer. "It tells you something about who you are, and where you come from, and who your ancestors are, and what they gave you to carry forward to future generations."