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  • Stella Hanan Cohen

Hanuka alegre, kome kon gana

May this Festival of Light bring with it hope, light and miracles and our favorite fried foods as we gather with our loved ones.

In Rhodes island our ancestors celebrated this “Fiesta de las Kandelikas”, arranging eight small glasses filled with a little water, topped with a layer of oil on which wicks were floated and lit were used instead of a Menorah.

Delicious fried foods dominate the menu to emphasize the miraculous oil that is central to this holiday.

During this celebration Rodeslis offer: Crispy cheese puffs, “fritadikas de patata”, leek, potato and fresh fritters “Keftes de prasa i patata”, fried fish “peshkado frito”, accompanies with egg lemon sauce, “agristada”.

Hannukah sweets include crispy donuts drenched in honey syrup “bumwelos” that hark back to Moorish Spain. Pastry puffs topped with honey, nuts and cinnamon, “pitikas”; and a sublime rose water scented rice pudding, sutlach; with chewy treats such as the almond and sesame seed brittle, “boulukunio”; and exquisite almond confections, masapan are some of the dulses d’alegria – sweets reflecting joy and celebration at our table. Also offered are Turkish delight, “lokum” and “halva”.

These scrumptious foods mirror the rich culinary tapestry of Medieval Spain and that of the Ottoman Empire. Hanuka alegre, kome kon gana. Enjoy!

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