This Chanukah and last, I overheard some EITHER/OR debates about what’s a better latke topping: applesauce or sour cream. Last year, I rolled my eyes. Maybe I didn’t care because I had bigger things (e.g., Covid, remote instruction) to worry about. After all, wasn’t debating the merits of applesauce or sour cream being the better latke topping better than worrying about whether or not you’d catch COVID? Yes, yes it was.
This year, I’m hearing this debate in multiple circles of my Jewish life. I’ve had enough of this mishegas! I spent last night’s Chanukah dinner lamenting to my parents about this. They rolled their eyes. They don’t understand the #teamapplesauce/#teamsourcream debate any more than I do. But maybe that’s because all three of us eat our latkes the same way with — WAIT. FOR. IT. — applesauce and sour cream.
That’s right. I am #TEAMBOTH. (Do we really need a team? After all, aren’t we supposed to be part of the same team who rose up against the Assyrian Greeks many years ago since our people wanted to practice Judaism alone.) This faux debate is a bunch of malarkey! Why would anyone limit themselves to one topping on a potato pancake fried in oil?!!?!
Oh, you’re watching your weight and you think sour cream is too fattening? Applesauce isn’t the answer. After all, latkes are COOKED IN OIL!
Oh, you want something savory to place atop your latke? Sour cream, alone, won’t cut it. Maybe a little crème fraîche, smoked salmon, and capers would be a better choice.
I am unapologetically an applesauce and sour cream latke eater. Why? It’s delicious!
This evening, I made cheese latkes for dinner. I offered Marc and the kids a variety of toppings (e.g., raspberry preserves, strawberry preserves, yogurt, honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar) to place on their cheese latkes. Any topping was allowed. Marc decided to grab some sour cream from the fridge to bring over to the table. I wondered how it would taste with the raspberry preserves I was using. I placed a dollop atop my cheese latke, which was already schmeared with raspberry. It. Was. Delightful. Therefore, I topped the rest of my cheese latkes with raspberry preserves and sour cream.
Yet again, I’m #TEAMBOTH.