Kartoffelpuffer is a pancake of rubbed or ground potato, matza meal or flour, and a binding ingredient such as egg or applesauce, often flavored with rubbed garlic or onion and seasoning.
These can be filled with a range of condiments, ranging from savory ones such as sour cream and cottage cheese to sweet ones such as apple sauce and sugar, or they can be served simply. Sometimes, the dish is made from mashed potatoes to make croquettes in the shape of a pancake. Sweet potatoes can make many variations.
In Germany, potato pancakes are eaten either salty, as a side dish, or sweet with apple sauce, or blueberries, sugar, and cinnamon; they are a trendy menu item in colder seasons, particularly in Christmas markets, during outdoor fairs, and at festivals.
About German Potato Pancake Recipe
While potato pancakes are synonymous with Hanukkah by many Americans, they have broader roots. They emerged as peasant food in Germany, Austria, Russia, and Poland in eastern European countries.
Potatoes were cheap, abundant, and easy to store, making them a staple and requiring inventive recipes for potatoes.
Today, it was the European Jews who gave their now-famous Yiddish name – latkes – to potato pancakes and repurposed them as vacation fare.
Potato cakes (Kartoffelpuffer) have variations and modifications added to their original recipe. However, they remain a staple dish in Europe, especially in Germany. For more international recipes, click here.
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