deep fried potato goodness

It sounded like a title The Onion would publish, but it’s actually completely legit.

Yesterday marked the 58th annual Latke-Hammentaschen debate (58 years of this??) at U Chicago, where it has been held every Tuesday before Thanksgiving since 1946, and has since spawned other such debates nation wide.

Thankfully, after years of agonizing curiosity, long time mediator and Professor of Philosophy, Ted Cohen, broke down this year and admitted his preference “It is not my opinion. It is a fact: hamentashen are pretty good, but latkes are perfect. I teach philosophy; I used a metaphysical argument and mathematical logic to prove latkes were perfect.”

“The Latke-Hamentash symposia have become legendary for their lighthearted wit and the audacity of their participants’ tactics,” reports the University of Chicago News

Audience members are encouraged to support for their preferred foodstuffs by coming to the debate dressed in a latke-or-hamentash-related costume.

Hilarious as it all seems, I really don’t know what the argument is here really. It’s apples and oranges. On the one hand, you have crumbly, jelly filled unenlightened cookies, and on the other you have deep fried potato-y goodness. Why don’t they argue Latke’s vs. Sufganiot? which is the better oily Hanukkah treat? Now that’s a debate.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Latkes are nowhere near as good as a well made hamantashen, and certainly nowhere near as fun to eat.

    Oh yeah, I forgot, PRUNE ALL THE WAY!!!!!

  • Nothing compares to Brakha’s awesome date, raisin and walnut Oznei Haman. None of that ashkenazic prune or poppy seed filled Hamentashen crap covered in chalky, pasty white dough. If y’all are lucky I’lll throw up Mom’s recipefor that and then you will truly know the bliss of Chaukah yumminess.

  • CK thinks hamantashen has chalky pasty white dough around it. Maybe you hang out with the wrong people?

    Poppy seed hamantashen sucks, but what sucks even more is a stupid counter person giving you poppy seed instead of prune.

  • Naw, you guys got it all wrong. It’s all about Peter Toshen, which eschew the poppy seed/prune debate entirely in favor of red, gold and green jelly filling. Crank up the Burning Spear (or the Matisyahu if you keep it in the faith) and get “baking”. Zion train is coming your way.

  • Peter Tosh.
    Now there was a cool guy. He really thought he was G*d. An assasin’s bullet proved him wrong but he woulda made some good Jewish pastries. I suspect the filling would have been secondary if not altogether irrelevant – the active ingredient of Peter Toshen woulda been THC, but I guess we’ll never really know…. ad loh yadda indeed….

  • I’m sorry for not choosing appropriate enough reggae icons, CK, but you must admit, Abyssinianstashen or Maytalstashen don’t have the same punny ring.

    And, now that you mention it, “fortified” hamantashen sound like a good way to fulfill the mitzvah of being unable to differentiate between “blessed be Mordechai” and “cursed be Haman.” With all the noise going on during the megillah reading, nobody would even notice your uncontrollable giggling…

  • In a moment of Weight-Watchers induced insanity, I tried to invent a lower-calorie, whole wheat flour-based hamantash. Yes, I’ve learned my lesson. I shan’t attempt it again.

    And I’ve never liked donuts, so soofganiyot never float my Chanukah boat. I’m a straight up Latkes girl. (Like a Lakers Girl, except, um, different.)

  • ‘Fortified’ Hamantaschen can, and have been done. They don’t taste so good, but they do make Purim more interesting. Especially in Israel when Purim can last for two or even three days because of Shushan Purim and it’s proximity to Shabbat, it’s good to switch things up a bit.
    Still, i stand by the fact that Latkes are superior, especially when my mom makes them. They also make for a good bargaining tool; My folks once got a year of free movie tickets in exchange for a continued supply of Latkes for the theatre manager.

  • Did you put it in the butter? You have to put it in the butter. Then it still tastes okay. Uh, theoretically, of course.

  • Yes, we know about the butter, and it definitely ‘worked’, but the taste just doesnt mix well (they were also really strong). We learned there’s a reason brownies are the old standard.

  • 1. Prune, and only prune. Poppyseed hamantashen are gross.

    2. Re. the pastry: butter, yes. But the real secret is orange peel zest in the dough. (my mom’s secret ingredient).

  • Uh… Lisa? That’s not the butter thing they were talking about. Think for a moment ….