So wrongSome things are just plain wrong…

The Internets are verrily abuzz with news that White Castle’s annual recipe contest was won by a Missouri woman who crossed Latkes with White Castle Hamburgers.

Leslye Louis of New Melle named her creation “The Latkes You Crave,” after White Castle’s slogan “What you crave.” She made the Jewish pancakes with the usual ingredients, including grated potatoes and eggs, and also incorporated 10 chopped-up White Castle “slyders” — minus the pickles.

Leslye receives 30 White Castle Hamburgers a week for a year. Philana Ford of Chicago came in second place for a Chinese dim sum appetizer recipe using White Castle burgers. She will receive 60 White Castle Hamburgers a week. That’s what American Midwesterners need – more fatty food in the midst of an obesity epidemic. You’ll be talking to your grandchildren about the obesity epidemic of ’07: “Oh it was terrible! There were hamburgers and cheese cakes everywhere!”

But seriously, is there anything more disgusting than a White Castle Hamburger? Thank goodness I am both kosher and a vegetarian and the consumption of this “food” will never be an issue in my life. Also am I allowed to be just slightly offended by the combination of a beloved holiday food and this treiff dreck or would that be deemed, I don’t know, intolerant? Will this go down in history as the penultimate sign of the integration of Jews into American society? Previous diaspora communities have given us things like the Babylonian Talmud and Spinoza and this one? Norman Finkelstein and White Castle Latke Hamburgers. Can’t wait for the White Castle Dreidels.

Pardon me while I gag.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

50 Comments

  • Yes, you can be just slightly offended by the combination.
    I am more than slightly offended on a daily basis of the combination of my beloved Torah with the treiff dreck that walk around Plifton believing they are doing mitzvahs …don’t get me started, just pass me some french, uh, freedom fries.

  • 1st Prize: 30 burgers per week for a year.
    2nd Prize: 60 burgers for only one week.

    You do the math.

  • Ah, and you can actually make nice cheesecake with low-fat (0.1%) as opposed to ‘regular’ (60% to 87%) cream cheese. You just need to let it ‘rest’ overnight for the flavours to fully develop (fat’s a carrier of flavour, that’s why lots of eat-out and take-out dishes are high in fat – they appear tastier that way), and serve it at room temperature.

  • Not that I don’t agree that it’s disgusting, and I realize that the question was likely rhetorical, but do you think that perhaps you ask if there is anything more disgusting than a White Castle Hamburger in part BECA– USE you are both kosher and a vegetarian?
    The “Thank goodness” seemed unnecessary, as you identified your bias.

    It’s understandable to be slightly offended by the combination of a beloved holiday food and this treiff dreck. In fact, it’s a combination that, in a way, I find disrespectful and yet in sync with the world at large. We mix religious with secular all the time but some are just gross. What’s next, bacon blintzes?

    (On second thought, that might be tasty. Oh, so wrong but tasty. And wrong. And I would not eat them but the temptation for just a little taste would be there.)

    For the record, I’ve never eaten a White Castle burger. I only know about WC because of the movies. I can’t imagine a burger-latke hybrid being good, though some might find the combination of meat and potatoes in one food item to be a convenience. Those same people eat bad burritos from 7-11.

  • Latkes are a Rhineland traditional; that’s where Jews ‘adopted’ them. If there’s any such thing as ‘Jewish’ food (except ‘ritual’ foods), it’s kosherly adapted varieties of the common foods of the environment Jews (used to) settle(d) in.

  • The only thing that could be worse than a combination of meat and potatoes in one food item is meat, potatoes and beans sitting overnight in a pot at below food-safety temperatures growing into a massive mush of botulism and then fed to crowds of people after they finish praying but before they have brushed their teeth or showered.

    God help me, I am really hatin’ on Jews this week.

  • I drive by the original White Castle every day. In case anyone’s curious, it’s now a jewelry repair shop. It was moved from the Polish part of town to the hipster area.

    Tradition… TRADITION!!

  • Chutzpah Says:
    November 7th, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    The only thing that could be worse than a combination of meat and potatoes in one food item is meat, potatoes and beans sitting overnight in a pot at below food-safety temperatures growing into a massive mush of botulism and then fed to crowds of people after they finish praying but before they have brushed their teeth or showered.

    Yet everyone knows that no harm has come to Jewkind after 3500 years of chulent consumption – unless eaten as Sunday night leftovers.

    And those of us deep into kishke – errr – kabalah – know that the chulent never goes rancid because there’s a special chulent mal’ach assigned to protect each and every chulent pot over Friday night.

  • Anyway Chutzpah, ck has a fabulous cholent recipe he picked up during his exotic travels in Asia, made with Fruity Pebbles and Diet Coke. They served it at Chabad House. Maybe you could try that.

    Hey Shy Guy–what’s so shy about you, if you don’t mind my asking?

  • Sarah Says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 2:30 am
    (Shhhh, Shy Guy, potatoes have only been around the Old World for a few centuries…)

    No that’s how long they’ve been around the new world.

    I’m sure King Solomon brought some back for his own chulent when he went on that summer backpacking trip with the Queen of Sheeba.

    Giyoret Says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Hey Shy Guy–what’s so shy about you

    My nick. 🙂

  • White Castle seems like low-class Jersey (on the other hand, that’s superfluous as all of Jersey is low-class) to me, but they don’t exist where I grew up.

    On the other hand, I once saw a Bacon and cheese bagel. It just felt wrong. Bacon belongs at the hotel breakfasts for those oh-so-special occasions. (but not for over 14 years, I must admit).

  • It seems like a location thing. If it was in the south they would call them Hashbrown Hamburgers. The Rhineland Jews took them and made them Latkes and the Rhineland Gotim turned cowboys or whatever called them Hashbrowns.
    Either way just thinking about them is making me get oily faced and pimply.
    30 of those a week you say? That could run a small car.

  • CK said:

    Thank goodness I am both kosher and a vegetarian and the consumption of this “food” will never be an issue in my life.

    How is that you manage to be self-righteous, pretentious AND in full display of your ignorance in one shot? Nicely done!

    WC is pretty gross; and as such, as a carnivore Muffti can tell you that he isn’t in danger of consumption of such food. You don’t need to be kosher. You don’t need to be a vegetarian. You just need to care about how things taste and what they will do to your body when ingested.

  • Muffti, please be nice…

    Mia, in Britain they also call them hashbrowns. “hash” is an old word for “grate”. If you don’t want them as greasy, wrench the grated potatoes thoroughly in a linen cloth. That way they lose starch and water, which in combination soaks up a lot of the fat in the frying process. For a fresher taste, replace one third of the grated potatoes by grated carrots. For better digestion, add ground nutmeg (not for kids though).

    Shy Guy, if he had served her cold latkes as a picnic treat, she well may have rejected him to say the least.

  • muffti lovingly and with great sensitivity wrote: You just need to care about how things taste and what they will do to your body when ingested.

    …which is why I am Kosher and a vegetarian. I’m not knocking carnivores, or lapsed Jews. Some of my favorite people are both. This was a personal decision and far be it from me to pass judgment on anyone’s private decisions. Well anyone except for those shmendricks that eat at White Castle. There’s no hope for them…

  • Does anyone else wonder about the demented mind that concocted this mess? Would she seriously feed this to people? Her own children? Does she weigh 300 lbs.? I’m surprised she doesn’t put these “latkes” in a baking pan and smother them with cream sauce and then sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Maybe that’s next year’s winning recipe.

  • They may still be lower in fat than regular cream cheese. It’s just the combination that is odd, particularly since those potato pancakes used to serve as a source of carbohydrates, fat and protein for physically working people (that usually were non too rich; until the 1960s, it was still pretty common to have meat only once a week) and they traditionally still are eaten with vegetable soup or apple sauce in the Rhineland, but nowadays they are considered a ‘treat’, partly because the classic, hand-grated ones are a lot of work and many people here swear by the classic version.

    British hashbrowns are eaten for breakfast though Brits usually don’t have cooked breakfasts (hashbrowns, fried eggs, fried bread, fried muhrooms, sausages, fried bacon, baked beans, boiled tomatoes, toast) anymore these days unless they’re staying at a hotel.

  • If you put some baking potatoes and an onion or two through the shredding, or julienne, blade, the latkes are lacy instead of solid. Life is SO MUCH easier now, B”H.

    Putting meat in them is a little weird. At that rate you are making stove-top kugel, or even stove-top meatloaf, which is fine, but don’t call it a latke. You would have to brown the meat first, for safety.

    Latkes go well with sparkling cider. A well browned latke is ok cold.

    As for WC, well, home cooking is the way to go. You knew that. What can we bring? A bag of apples? Wine? Entenmann’s pound cake? Our own home-made bread? Flowers? Any sefardi friends? THEY can cook, all right.

  • I don’t know how the latke and slider would go together. Could be good, could be bad. Unlike almost all of the commenters here, I have tasted a Slider. (I don’t eat pork or shellfish, but I do eat unkosher beef and chicken). I have to tell ya, they’re pretty tasty. There’s a reason that they made a hilarious film about it.

    You have a point that this new delicacy signifies our culture’s “slide” into secular America. And it’s your choice not to eat it. I respect your Kosher ways. Judge other people if you want, but don’t judge the taste of something until you taste it. And those carmalized onions sittin on that little slider patty — Mmmmmm.:)

    Botayavon.

  • Sarah, sure, but not everybody can come up with that. Kitchenly challenged people need love too.

    A few pounds of SEEDLESS grapes will get you a grateful look from the House. No preparation needed, and expensive.

    We all have to pull the cart. Our hands burn and hurt if we go somewhere empty-handed.

    The important thing is to invite too many people, so they are giggling because of the overcrowding. “Oh excuse me.” “Could I just get past you” “Can you just hand me that. No, that. Right. Thanks.” “Was that your foot? Oh, sorry! Hee hee”

    Next week at your house! Shabbat Shalom.

  • To the person who wrote the blog,
    Get a life. My mother is Leslye Louis. If there is a God he doesn’t favor you any more than any other individual just because you adhere to an antiquated collection of superstitutions that suggest certain foods should never go together.

    It’s a fun recipe meant to make people happy and have a good time. Why don’t you do something better with your time instead of weighing to hate on other people who accomplish something?

    I’m looking forward to celebrate Hannukah with crave latkes and my Jew and gentile friends. We live in difficult times, surely there is a worthier topic of your ire than what other people to choose to eat in the sanctity of their own homes.

    —Michael Ashley

  • Michael, I think there isn’t anybody on here does not grant your mother to have won in a contest, but the winning entry did raise a few eyebrows as latkes are dear and nostalgic to many on here.

    If not for that “antiquated collection of superstitions that suggest certain foods should never go together”, latkes may never have become popular among Jews, may never have made it to the US and hence may never have enabled your mother to win in that contest. As for the appreciation of accomplishments, I think everybody on here knows and admires the one or the other highly accomplished person, many of them are extremely accomplished and successful in their own right. I’ve partaken and won in several contests myself (mostly arts / design) and was well-aware there must have been people that didn’t like my entries and would comment on them accordingly. If I had minded people to comment negatively / unappreciatingly on my contest entries, I wouldn’t have partaken in those contest.

  • Let me clarify on my “Original” White Castle comment.:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Castle_Building_No._8

    Anyways, it was picked up and moved across town years ago and is now a jewelry store. Okay – it wasn’t the first White Castle… but it’s the most famous. It’s the only other thing we show our out of town friends other than the Mall Of America and the place where “Purple Rain” was filmed.

    Mr. Ashley… assuming you are who you say you are, kudos. If you are not who you say you are, a pox on you.

  • Hi Michael Ashley!
    Thanks for weighing in with your opinions. Allow me to interject a little if I may as I am, without a doubt, the guy that wrote the blog post in question, the one who needs to “Get a life.” Now that may indeed be true, but that doesn’t change a few salient facts.

    1. You may have deemed this post as an attack against your dear Mother. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m sure Leslye Louis is a lovely woman and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

    2. I am however opposed to anything that packs the whopping 150 calories and 7 grams of fat (before condiments) found in your typical mini square shaped burger known as the White Castle Slyder. The long term damage that such a “food” item does to you, in tandem with the well documented VERY short term gastrointestinal discomfort it causes is enough to merit disparagement. Sorry.

    3. I never said God favors me more than anyone else. We are all God’s children.

    4. As for my “antiquated collection of superstitutions (sic.) that suggest certain foods should never go together” well, those are my “antiquated notions” and to whatever extent they prevent me from eating crap like White Castle Slyders, they seem rather relevant and timely actually.

    5. Celebrating Hannukah with your “Jew” friends by eating crave latkes is funny. Do you know about the story of Hannukah? Look it up. Go beyond the miracle of the oil thing and see why the Jews were in revolt, and how some chose to die in defense of the “antiquated notions” you speak of.

    Yes Michael, we live in difficult times. But I wasn’t advocating suicide bomber attacks against White Castle. I was just suggesting that the combination of unkosher burgers with a traditional Jewish food is disturbing on a certain level. Go suggest to Muslims that they eat Bacon couscous and see how well that goes down. Invite your Buddhist friends over for some 100% beef (ha ha, as if) crave latkes, great idea! And get pissed at your vegetarian buddies who don’t want to share in the greasy yumminess of your Mom’s recipe.

    Eat whatever you like Michael. Just make sure you have a lot of toilet paper handy.

  • Noah! Just saw the latest Jew Complete Me episodes. Jenna’s a keeper man! And I am comfortable saying that despite the fact that I have never had sex with her. See where I am going with this?

    I don’t need to shoot up Heroin to know that it’s bad. I don’t dispute the yumminess of Slyders – anything with that much saturated fat had better be damned tasty. But it’s just crap Noah. Crap food, crap for your health, crap for the environment and ultimately not so good for the Jews, or anyone else for that matter.

    As for Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Kal Penn, who plays Kumar, is a vegetarian and they had to make fake vegetarian Slyders for him.

  • Sarah thanks for the tip about getting the water out. I am always left with a big puddle of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. I wonder if I can find those cheese cloth diapers …
    Actually a meat latke sounds like it could taste good if made well. Meat and potatoes do go well together. But I prefer my latkes with applesauce, the only problem is I can’t find any good applesauce in Israel. Except for the baby food kind, but it would be a little weird buying jars of baby food for my latkes.

  • Mia, here in Jerusalem, you can find imported applesauce in Mehadrin supermarkets, such as Cheaperkol in Giv’at Shaul. This includes sugar-free applesauce.

  • Here in Jerusalem, we make our own apple sauce. Imported (!!) apple sauce is ridiculous for a country that has ample and abundant apples.

  • 45 minutes?! Oy! (calm down take a deep breath)
    Oh you must mean the cooking time. Okay I’ll try to make it homemade and see how it goes. If it dosen’t go well I’ll go looking for some in the Mahdrin supermakerts in Neve Shaanan since I am in Haifa.

  • Mia, you can use e.g. a clean tea-towel for wrenching the grated potatoes. All you need to add then (for a large bowl of mix) are a couple off eggs, a table spoon full of flour, salt, pepper and maybe nutmeg.

    Homemade apple sauce? If shipping didn’t cost an arm and a leg, I’d send you bucketloads of that. My mother’s got property with a few apple trees, and some years we’ve got up to 2,000 kg of apples (about 500 kg this year). Anyhow, it’s not so difficult to make; if you want a “whiter” apple sauce, you need to peel the apples. If you don’t peel them, you get the goldish-brown colour. Chop the apples and put them into a pot with some water, steam the chunks till soft, stir occasionally. Remove the pot from the cooker. Then either mash the apple chunks (the peeled ones) or strain them through a colander (if you make a lot of purreed stuff, it pays to get a special straining colander). Sweeten and add cinnamon if desired. Don’t add the cinnamon before boiling as it might turn bitter. Also, if you cook for kids, make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon (e.g. from a pharmacy). Other varieties were shown last year to possibly cause liver inflammations that can be lethal for kids. Just make sure the base of the pot is always covered with water so while boiling so the apples won’t get burnt (that’s a big mess to clean). And if you want to sock up on some apple sauce without giving away freezer space, fill the hot apple sauce into jars with twist-off lids. Close the lids and turn the jars upside down on a wet towel. Let the jars cool. When turning the jars around again, you’ll see that the lids look ‘sucked in’; that way you can tell the jar is well-sealed. You can easily store that apple sauce in a dark, dry place for more than a year.

  • Must be some kind of mind meld. I spent yesterday afternoon making applesauce, and then I look here…

    Mia, it is so easy it’s a joke. You don’t even need sugar and like Sarah said add the cinnamon later. And if you make a small batch and stay on top of the cooking you can let it cook down a lot until the natural sugar carmelizes a little bit but before it burns. Yum. And it’s so healthy too.

  • Can you leave the peel on the apples? I hate peeling anything. That’s very clever about caramelizing the natural sugar, Giyoret.

    (Michael Ashley, if you mean the no-milk-with-meat thing, that is about separating life from death. Milk is for new life, meat is dead, obviously. The rule only applies to Jews. No gentile is a bad puppy for eating a cheeseburger. Happy Hannukah and congrats to your Mom. At least you have a Mom who cooks. Pretty good.)

  • Thanks You’all for all the Latke and applesauce advice and tips. I never thought of making my own applesauce before.
    I printed everything out to try when the time comes (still a few weeks away from Hanukkah). I’ll try to somehow let you know how it turns out.

  • Somehow? Mia… just come back here! Or better yet, email us a pick of your home made apple sauce adorned lattkes – send email to jewlicious at gmail dot com! Apple sauce is way better with latkes than grody White Castle Slyders!

  • JM, of course you can leave the peel on the apples, you just need to strain the apple chunks through a fine colander after steaming them. If you leave the peel on, the apple sauce will get thicker as the peel’s high in pectin.

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