Best topping for latkes—applesauce or sour cream? | The Tylt
Best topping for latkes—applesauce or sour cream?
Champions of the latke-applesauce duo claim this combination provides the perfect balance. The sweetness of the applesauce cuts the saltiness of the latkes, and the result is an amazing dish somewhere in between dinner and dessert. But since you're eating them 24/7 anyway, who really cares what you call it? As Chatetlaine's Amy Grief explains, latkes are:
...a stick-to-your ribs wintertime delicacy. Tart and fruity applesauce—unsweetened is best—cuts through the grease and lightens them right up, leaving you feeling perfectly satisfied, but not stuffed. Sure, sour cream is tart too, but since it’s dairy, it can weigh down the latkes—adding unwanted heft to an already filling meal.
According to Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, sour cream is the undeniable winner. Sommer writes for ReformJudaism.org on the history behind latkes and sour cream:
Let me tell you a little story about how dairy foods came to be a part of the Hanukkah celebration. There once was a Jewish lass named Judith. During an Assyrian siege of her village (as part of the war that is remembered through the Hanukkah celebration), she charmed her way into the enemy camp with a basket of cheese and wine. The enemy general, Holofernes, ate of the cheese and drank of the wine until he was unable to stay awake. The sweet lass Judith then took his sword and beheaded the muddled man. She brought his head back to her people in a basket and saved her town.
In her honor, then, dairy foods are consumed. What better choice than to top latkes, the perfect Hanukkah treat, with sour cream, the perfect Hanukkah remembrance?
Chatetlaine's Amy Grief continues her pro-applesauce argument, saying applesauce simply aligns better with Jewish tradition than sour cream. With applesauce, no one runs the risk of mixing dairy with meat:
Latkes are usually served at dinnertime along with a meaty main, like brisket. Mixing milk and meat at the same meal is a no-no for those who keep kosher, so sour cream would be out as a latke condiment leaving the underdog apple sauce victorious.
Sour cream might have history in its back pocket, but applesauce wins out when it comes to diet guidelines. If the goal is to eat as many latkes as possible, and with any meal of the day, applesauce it is!
Sour cream is the more logical topping for any potato dish. Think about it. You put sour cream on baked potatoes, casseroles and more, so why wouldn't it go with a fresh-off-the-skillet latke? It's not a latke if there's no sour cream.