Latkes forever

Today’s Judaism Today, I mean, New York Times reports on the University of Chicago’s annual smackdown between latkes and hamantaschen. There’s no contest as far as I’m concerned (savory all the way), but it sounds like a good event:

On Tuesday, the debate began in the audience even before the speakers, in academic robes and funny hats, paraded with all their pomp and circumstance under the competing latke and hamantasch banners.
“They made hamantasch Republican!” said Will Cohen, 19, a sophomore sociology major, recalling in horror a political analogy from last year’s debate.
His friend Al Shaw, 20, who is studying philosophy, said, “They should be,” adding, “They’re doughy.”
Mr. Cohen, betraying his blue-state sympathies, countered, “But the latkes are greasy and slimy.”
Mr. Shaw interrupted, “And working class,” adding, “Only the rich elite eat a hamantasch.”

Full story here.

4 thoughts on “Latkes forever

  1. only that the times covers an inordinate amount of stories like this. hey, i love it, don’t get me wrong, but try living in some other city where they don’t even know what a latke is and you come to find the times a wonderful, and occasionally hilarious, counterexample.

  2. Yes New York is a uniquely Jewish city! I have never lived in there but I spent a few weeks staying there while on an extended trip to U.S. It was a very special environment. I believe 10 percent of population.

  3. FYI …
    source http://www.press.uchicago.edu/
    Cernea, Ruth Fredman, editor The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate. Foreword by Ted Cohen. 250 p., 1 line drawing, 1 table. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 2005
    Cloth $18.00 0-226-10023-5 Fall 2005
    Creation versus evolution. Nature versus nurture. Free will versus determinism. Every November at the University of Chicago, the best minds in the world consider the question that ranks with these as one of the most enduring of human history: latke or hamantash? This great latke-hamantash debate, occurring every year for the past six decades, brings Nobel laureates, university presidents, and notable scholars together to debate whether the potato pancake or the triangular Purim pastry is in fact the worthier food.
    What began as an informal gathering is now an institution that has been replicated on campuses nationwide. Highly absurd yet deeply serious, the annual debate is an
    opportunity for both ethnic celebration and academic farce. In poetry, essays, jokes, and revisionist histories, members of elite American academies attack the latke-versus-hamantash question with intellectual panache and an unerring sense of humor, if not chutzpah. The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate is the first collection of the best of these performances, from Martha Nussbaum’s paean to both foods—in the style of Hecuba’s Lament—to Nobel laureate Leon Lederman’s proclamation on the union of the celebrated dyad. The latke and the hamantash are here revealed as playing a critical role in everything from Chinese history to the Renaissance, the works of Jane Austen to constitutional law.
    Eminent philosopher and humorist Ted Cohen supplies …

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