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Latkes - Matzoh Meal or Flour, Your Preference?

I've made latkes last time using flour, in the past I used matzoh meal I can't recall the difference. I like matzoh meal, but anyone know how this changes the the overall taste/consistancy vs. flour? What's your preference and why?

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  1. Matzah meal. Flour sometimes has a strange texture in latkes.

    1. I agree with cheesecake. Flour often gives Latkes a gummy texture which is not a good thing. The texture may also be affected by the type of potato used. I'm not sure whether the use of flour results in that gummy texture with the traditional russet potato or if it's the result of using another variety of potato (all potatoes are not equal) because some recipes stipulate "potatoes" without specifying the variety. And I must admit I haven't always use russets; I soometimes grab whatever I have on hand.

      1. I've always used flour, and always russets. No particular reason other than this is the recipe Mom uses and I grew up with. Happy Hanukkah all!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sbgirl

          I am in the flour camp as well because that's what I grew up with. The matzoh meal might give a nice crunch and lighter texture. Will have to experiment. Is there such a thing as a "bad" latke? Signed, a wondering Jew ;) Adam

        2. Matzoh meal, for sure. Why? That's what I grew up with. With the grated potatoes, grated onions, and an egg or two. Salt. I skip the pepper. Same reasons. I feel like one of Pavlov's dogs, just say latkes, and I salivate. Happy Chanukah!

          1. I don't use either one. Grated potatoes, onion, egg, salt, pepper, oil. They stick together fine, and tend to be light and crisp. I just either mix before scooping each panful, or leave the liquid in the bottom.

            1. Thanks everyone. We used the matzoh meal, and it definatelty had a better texture and taste then the flour which we used last year.
              Adamshoe - yes, there is such a thing as a bad latke. My friend and I have been making them together annually for the last 6 years, when we 1st started they were awful greasy uncooked messes. Now they are perfect!

              1. I use matzo meal. but I also collect the liquid that comes out of the potaotes (and onions since I grate them together) and after pouring off the liquid add the starch from the bottom of the bowl back to the potatoes.

                1. I just use the starch that collects from draining the potatoes--usually there's quite a bit of it! I loosen it up, mix the egg in with it, then dump in the drained potatoes, it's good to go, no additional additives. If, for some reason, the amount of starch from the potatoes themselves looks less than usual, I toss in a little potato starch. A little goes a long way, and I find it makes the latkes more tender and crispy. (I imagine it might get gummy if you used too much or the oil wasn't hot enough, though!)

                  1. Just an out of date add on: I used whole wheat matzo meal this year, as that's what I had. My family tradition is russets, onion, egg, some salt and matzo meal as needed (though I now add the potato starch if there is enough). The ww matzo meal did not change the taste at all, and I felt that little bit more virtuous (as virtuous as you could be consuming all that delicious fried food.)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mjoyous

                      What about corn starch mixed with flour?

                      1. re: mjoyous

                        I've always used flour and people rave about my latkes. I'm sure bubbe in Vilna didn't use matzo meal -- that must be a marketing gimmick by Manischewitz to sell more product outside of Passover season.

                        I think what makes latkes gummy is wringing the water out of the potatoes. JMHO.

                        ETA: The Chow recipe for sweet potato latkes is a winner, too. http://www.chow.com/recipes/27895-new...

                      2. Neither.

                        Since I was a kid, grated peeled potatoes (Long Island/Maine), grated onions. Squeeze out the liquid, add back the potato starch from the liquid. Separate the eggs & beat the whites until stiff.
                        Combine everything & fry away.

                        The big thing is how fine to grate the potatoes. I prefer a coarser grater, similar to a Swiss rosti, but a little finer, VS the knuckle scraper type box graters.

                        The egg whites give it a little more lightness.

                        1. I grew up eating my dad's latkes and he made them with grated russets (liquid squeezed out), chopped scallions, egg, salt and pepper. No flour, no matzoh meal. Is the scallion thing odd?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JennS

                            Most latke recipes include grated onions. Chopped scallions are really just a variant on that.

                          2. I like the coarser texture of whole wheat matzo meal.

                            1. I use only a small amount of flour and add chopped parsley