My mom's latkes are better than your mom's--and your mom's mom's. So it was with some skepticism that I approached Ruthie & Gussie's Traditional Potato Pancake (Latke) Batter: how authentic could it be if the word "latke" is in parentheses? But there's little to kvetch about here. The batter--28 ounces is only $6.99--arrives frozen from ruthieandgussies.com. Defrost it, fry 'em up and you'll witness a true Chanukah miracle: about 20 palm-size pancakes without having to grate a potato or chop up an onion. Still, that elbow grease makes for a latke that's richer in texture. My mom's are a flattened pile of crispy potato shards--the perfect vehicle for scooping up applesauce. Ruthie & Gussie's version--made from the recipe that won the 1997 James Beard Foundation Latke Cookoff--is a little too processed to be as effective a conduit. But I'm spoiled; this is a totally fine takeoff.
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