What Type Of Potato Should You Use For Latkes?

Every year to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah, Jewish families celebrate with a heaping pile of latkes (via Chabad). These fried delights are made with potatoes and onion and fried in oil that symbolizes the oil used to light the menorah.

PBS points out that the traditional potato latkes are actually a recent invention. While most Jewish families in the United States will stick to the starchy pancakes, there are several different substitutes used in different communities throughout the world. According to The Takeout, the winter holiday is sometimes commemorated with pancakes made from ricotta, spinach, simple flour, and water like those that were originally eaten by Jewish warriors going into battle.

For families descended from European Ashkenazi Jewish communities, the potato is the best way to go (via PBS). Not all potatoes are created equally though, and it's important to make sure you have the right kind before you fire up that oil.

Russet potatoes make for perfect latkes

Potatopia owner, and lover of all things potato, Allen Dikker told Tasting Table that for anything like latkes or gnocchi that require some assembly, he recommends either the russet or Yukon gold potato. 

According to Southern Living, some of the key qualities in a latke are that they stick together well and will brown up properly when they cook. That's why the outlet also recommends the russet. The high starch content in this potato will help the pancakes bind together and fry well. 

The russet is best known as the ideal spud for mashed potatoes for many of the same reasons. According to Idaho Potato, this potato is low in moisture. That being said, there is some moisture, so Chabad also recommends pressing the shredded potatoes to help drain out any excess water before frying up the latkes. Having a dry surface helps promote browning in foods, so draining as much moisture as possible will help ensure those perfectly golden brown latkes. Whether you're team applesauce or sour cream for your topping, at least make sure you're using the right potato.