The Great Latke vs. Hamantash Debate
Like the profoundest of profound intellectual quandaries, the latke vs. hamantash debate may never be fully resolved.
Since 1946, when Hillel House at University of Chicago sponsored the first annual debate pitting potato pancakes against triangular cookies, great minds -- like Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman and academic Allan Bloom -- have squared off to argue over which foodstuff wins the battle for Jewish culinary supremacy.
After 64 years, the debate remains as polarizing as ever.
Combatants have relied on mathematics, philosophy, sociology, astronomy, history and nearly ever other discipline under the sun to bolster their arguments. In 2009, economist Austan Goolsbee, who you may know as President Barack Obama's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, argued that latkes caused both the industrial revolution and "a very satisfying Chanukah experience for many, many people."
(Never debated is the spelling of hamantash -- or Chanukag or shawarma or Moammar Qaddafi, for that matter).
A number of schools have gotten into the act: Amherst, Swarthmore, Wesleyan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and even UCSD. None in Los Angeles, however. Maybe UCLA or USC should start their own debate -- sponsored by Canter's, perhaps?
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