Had I been Moses, and Pharoah's magicians had offered me a plate of latkes or doughnuts instead of gold or coals, I'd have grabbed the latkes quicker than Sharon snatched West Bank land.
There just isn't a contest when it comes down to it. It's ying versus yang. Good versus evil. Arsenal versus Tottenham. Latkes have the power to reaffirm our belief in G-d - whilst doughnuts just reaffirm our belief in pushy Israeli bakers.
Walk into any bakery to grab a sandwich, and it's like walking down Brixton High Road in London - except they're pushing sufganiyot rather than crack. I can normally fend off the street-peddlers with ease, but around Hanukkah, doughnuts are forced upon you with an almost demonic zeal by these hustlers.
Whereas latkes aren't. They're quietly alluded to by friends or family, with a whispered "come over later, I might be cooking latkes" - not in your face, not ten-a-penny - a far more exclusive preserve than the doughnut set. They take effort - and it shows. I watch someone stand at the stove frying them up with the same awe I would an alchemist turning metal into gold. It's a fine art - the Sistine Chapel to the crayon sketches that are doughnuts.
Which is more fattening, which is tastier, which is aesthetically more pleasing? I don't care. It all comes down to one thing. Which one will let you down more. And we all know the answer. Nothing - repeat nothing - breaks your heart like biting carefully all the way around the outside of a doughnut, hoping to save the precious jam in the middle for the end - and then finding it's drier than an Israeli oil well. For the jam-less doughnut is akin to Moses being led to the Promised Land and then not allowed in. A killer. And latkes - whatever your taste in Hanukah food - will never let you down like that. Reliable, dependable, no-nonsense.
No contest. Latkes beat doughnuts, hands down. It says more about you than a Rolex or Armani suit ever could. And if my endorsement isn't enough - just ask yourself what a marauding Maccabee would have wanted during a break from battle. I doubt the prospect of jam all over his sword would have put a smile on his face.
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