Chanukah has always been celebrated with gusto in my family. Even back in the day, when my brother and I fought over who would light the candles on each of the eight nights, food always took center stage. We nibbled on homemade dreidel cookies with sugar sprinkles, devoured bags of chocolate Chanukah gelt and ate crispy, golden potato latkes to our hearts' content.
Potato latkes are Chanukah's signature dish, not because of the potato -- but because of the oil. Potatoes did not exist in the Holy Land when the ancient Israelites triumphed over the Syrians.