It’s lots of fun to grate potatoes and crack eggs, but the real fun is in gobbling up these mid-winter treats. Potato pancakes are associated with cuisines of many European and Middle Eastern century-old traditions including Austrian (as Kartoffelpuffer or “Erdäpfelpuffer”), Belarusian (as дранікі draniki), Czech (as bramborák or cmunda), German (as Kartoffelpuffer or Reibekuchen), Hungarian (as tócsni and other names), Iranian, Jewish (as latkes or latkas, Yiddish: לאַטקעס, Hebrew: לביבה levivah, plural לביבות levivot), Latvian (as kartupeļu pankūkas), Lithuanian (as bulviniai blynai), Luxembourg (Gromperekichelcher), Polish (as placki ziemniaczane), Russian (as draniki, драники), Slovak (as zemiakové placky,haruľa or nálečníky), Ukrainian (as deruny, деруни) and any other cuisines which have adopted similar dishes. It is the national dish of Belarus. In Germany, potato pancakes are eaten either salty (as a side dish) or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon; they are a very common menu item during outdoor markets and festivals in colder seasons. In Swiss cuisine, the Rösti differs insofar as it never contains egg or flour. It is a traditional favorite in southern Indiana during holiday festivities.
Fried in oil until golden and sometimes served with sour cream and applesauce, there are few children or adults who would refuse a second or third helping. (By the way, our potatoes were grown in our own WCS garden. ) After the potatoes are grated on a clean kitchen towel, it’s interesting for children to see how much water can be squeezed out of them. When the water is removed and eggs, salt , grated onion and a little bit of flour are added, potato pancakes cook quickly to an even golden brown. Click on the recipe below! Here are some more pictures of Emily Clark and Sheryl Miller’s Westminster West students making latkes: