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Celebrating Hanukkah with Czech cuisine

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Itongadol.- Like at any self-respecting Hanukkah party, there were potato latkes (levivot) – although they were called by their Central European name: Rosti. And they were served in a way I had never eaten them before: Smothered in the rich gravy of a Czech beef goulash, and garnished with slices of red onion.

To be on the safe side, I ate one plain – enough to be confident when I say that if you haven’t had your potato pancake fix this holiday yet, you should save yourself the trouble of shopping, grating and frying and head over to the Czech culinary week at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya Pituah.

Where to get some of the best Hanukkah doughnuts / Ynet
White chocolate, vanilla, almond sprinkles and even the traditional jam filling: In honor of the year\’s sweetest holiday, we\’re bringing you a list of the top pastry shops and eateries where you\’ll find the best sufganiyot.

Besides the rosti, there will be plenty of other delicacies to try. Among them, marinated salmon with a honey mustard sauce. The salmon, dusted with fresh dill, is delicious even without the sweet-and-spicy sauce; but a judicious dab of the condiment enhances the taste of the fresh fish all the same.

Potatoes take center stage not only in the rosti: As an accompaniment to moist and flavorful roast duck, they star in a delicious potato salad the likes of which I have yet to taste in Israel. Even the warm accompaniment to the duck includes potatoes, albeit in a secondary role, as dumplings smothered in a complex cabbage dish with undertones of apple and blueberry.

The piece de resistance in the dessert category, however, is the apple strudel -paper-thin layers of flaky pastry wrapped around caramelized apple slices studded with raisins and baked to perfection. A spoonful or two of warm vanilla custard completes a dessert that temporarily banishes any craving for a sufganiya.

The team of Czech chefs is in Israel in the framework of a reciprocal visit representing that country’s Jan Hotel chain, after Israeli chefs from Tamares Hotels had hosted an Israeli food week in the Czech Republic.

The current Czech culinary week was launched at a reception at the Daniel Hotel on the second night of Hanukkah, in the presence of the ambassador of the Czech Republic.

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