Potato pancake
Potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream
Region or stateCentral, Eastern, and Northern Europe
Main ingredientsPotatoes, flour, egg, cooking oil

Potato pancakes are shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, matzo meal or flour and a binding ingredient such as egg or applesauce, often flavored with grated garlic or onion and seasonings. They may be topped with a variety of condiments, ranging from the savory (such as sour cream or cottage cheese), to the sweet (such as apple sauce or sugar), or they may be served plain. The dish is sometimes made from mashed potatoes to make pancake-shaped croquettes.[1] Some variations are made with sweet potatoes.[2][3]

In different cultures

Belarusian draniki in a traditional crockery dish

Potato pancakes are associated with various European cuisines, including Irish (as boxty), German and Austrian (as Kartoffelpuffer, Reibekuchen, Reiberdatschi, Erdäpfelpuffer and Erdäpfellaibchen), Dutch (as aardappelpannenkoek, reifkoeken, reifjes), Belarusian (as дранікі draniki), Bulgarian (as patatnik), Czech (as bramborák, cmunda or vošouch), Hungarian (as tócsni, lapcsánka and other names), Jewish (as latka, Yiddish: לאַטקע,[4] Hebrew: לביבה levivah, plural לביבות levivot), Latvian (as kartupeļu pankūkas), Lithuanian (as bulviniai blynai), Luxembourg (Gromperekichelcher), Polish (as placki ziemniaczane), Romanian (as tocini or tocinei), Russian (as драники draniki), Slovak (as zemiakové placky), Ukrainian (as деруни deruny), Italian (Frittelle di patate) and any cuisine that has adopted similar dishes. In Spain they are called tortillitas de patatas; in Mexico in some areas they are called tortas de patatas or camaron, and are only prepared in some regions for Lent or meatless Fridays.

It is the national dish of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Slovakia. In Germany, potato pancakes are eaten either salty (as a side dish) or sweet with apple sauce,[5] or blueberries, sugar and cinnamon; they are a very common menu item during outdoor markets and festivals in colder seasons. In Swiss cuisine, rösti is a variation that never contains egg or flour. American hash browns are also without eggs and flour. Potato pancake is a traditional favorite in the southern parts of Indiana during holiday festivities.[6] In Taranto, Italy potato pancakes are called frittelle di patate alla tarantina and are made with potatoes, salt and Canestrato Pugliese.

Potato pancakes from Austria

Swedish raggmunkar, potatisplättar, rårakor and potatisbullar

Raggmunk with pork and lingonberries

There are four Swedish versions of potato pancakes.

All four variants are traditionally served with fried bacon and lingonberry jam.

British potato cakes

Potato cakes are common in the United Kingdom. In the North-East of England (particularly County Durham), there is a dish known as "tattie fish" because the pancake resembles a deep-fried piece of fish. The pancake consists of flour, eggs, shredded potatoes and onions. Some people add tomato or cheese to the mix.

The British also brought potato pancakes to former colonies such as Zimbabwe, where they are an affordable dish still eaten today.

Irish boxty

Main article: Boxty

Further information: Irish Cuisine

A form of potato pancake known as boxty (Irish: bacstaí) is a popular traditional dish in most of Ireland, particularly north Connacht and southern Ulster. It is made similarly to the British type, with more starch and often with buttermilk and baking soda. It has a smooth, grained consistency.

Jewish latke

Main article: Latke

Further information: Hanukkah § Foods

Latka frying in oil

Latkes (לאַטקע, sometimes spelled latka) are potato pancakes that Ashkenazi Jews have prepared as part of the Hanukkah festival[11] since the mid-1800s,[12] when a series of crop failures in Poland and Ukraine led to mass planting of potatoes, which were easy and cheap to grow. The potato dish is based on an older variant made with cheese instead of potatoes that goes back to at least the Middle Ages.[13]

Latkes need not necessarily be made from potatoes. Prior to the introduction of the potato to the Old World, latkes were and in some places still are made from a variety of other vegetables, cheeses, legumes, or starches, depending on the available local ingredients and foods of the various places where Jews lived.[14] Numerous modern recipes call for the addition of ingredients such as onions and carrots.[15][16] Daily variations on a simple potato latka might include zucchini, sweet onion and gruyere (for French onion flavor) and some variations made with sweet potatoes.[17]

The word latke itself is derived (via Yiddish) from the East Slavic word ladka, oladka, a diminutive from oladya (оладья), "small pancake". The word levivah (לביבה), the Hebrew name for latke, refers in the Book of Samuel to a dumpling made from kneaded dough, as part of the story of Amnon and Tamar.[18] Some interpreters have noted that the homonym levav (לבב) means "heart", and the verbal form of l-v-v occurs in the Song of Songs as well. In the lexicon of Ashkenazi Jews from Udmurtia and Tatarstan there are recorded versions of the kosher-style appellation of latkes (draniki, dranki, krezliki, kremzliki, kakorki, etc.) during the eight-day Hanukkah holiday.[19]

Korean gamja-jeon


Gamja-jeon (감자전; lit. "potato pancake") is a Korean pancake made by pan-frying in oil the mixture of grated potato and potato starch. It can be made without additional ingredients, but is sometimes mixed with onion, chilli and perilla leaf. Generally, it is seasoned with a small amount of salt and served with soy sauce.

Polish placki ziemniaczane

A potato placek with spicy goulash (Placek ziemniaczany z gulaszem na ostro) served with Bundz (sheep's milk cheese) and sour cream (perhaps mixed with yogurt) in a restaurant in Zakopane, Poland

Potato pancakes, literally translated in Polish as placki ziemniaczane, are often served in Poland topped with meat sauce, pork crisps or goulash, as well as sour cream, apple sauce, mushroom sauce,[20] and cottage or sheep's cheese or even fruit syrup. Placki ziemniaczane was a food staple at the 17th-century Polish monasteries according to written recipe from Stoczek Warmiński with one onion, two eggs and a spoonful of wheat flour per each kilogram of potatoes, served only with salt and pepper.[21] In the 19th century,[22] especially in times of economic difficulty during the foreign partitions, potato pancakes often replaced missing bread among the peasants. The lower-quality crops given to field laborers were sometimes turned by them quickly into pancakes to improve taste and prolong freshness.[23] Also, their popularity is closely associated with the historic presence of one of the largest Jewish communities in the world flourishing in Poland.[22]

The largest potato pancake (possibly in the world), measuring 2 meters and 2 centimeters, was made during the annual two-day celebrations of Świt Plinzy (Plinza Dawn festival) in Rzechta, Poland (see photo). The tongue-in-cheek games in Rzechta include the throwing of bad potato pancake, with the record of 29 meters.[24]

Brigand's pancake

A derived dish consists of thick goulash laid on a potato pancake. It has origins in or near Tatra mountains, on either Polish or Slovak side. The dish bears a variety of names:

Czech bramborák


A Czech potato pancake is called bramborák (from brambor, potato) and it is made of grated potatoes with egg, breadcrumbs or flour and seasoning (salt, pepper, most importantly garlic and marjoram; sometimes ground, cracked or whole caraway seeds) and is served as it is (see recipe). Some regional versions blend in dough, sauerkraut or sliced smoked meat. The same potato dough is used also as coating of fried pork chop called kaplický řízek. It is sometimes deep fried.

Iranian kuku sib zamini

Further information: Kuku (food) § Kuku sib zamini

In Iranian cuisine, kuku sib-zamini (Gilaki: کوکو سیب زمینی, 'potato kuku') is made with shredded potatoes, eggs, onion, saffron, sometimes garlic chives and sometimes cinnamon. Frequently, potato kuku is cooked as smaller patties, but it is also cooked in a larger pancake-style or baked.[25] This dish has been compared[by whom?] to the latke, rösti and tortilla Española (Spanish omelette).

See also


  1. ^ "Mashed potato pancake recipe". All-about-potatoes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  2. ^ Moose, Debbie (2014-09-15). Southern Holidays: a Savor the South® cookbook. UNC Press Books. ISBN 978-1-4696-1790-9.
  3. ^ "Sweet Potato Latkes, 2 Ways". Food Network. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  4. ^ Comprehensive Yiddish–English Dictionary, 359
  5. ^ "Potato pancakes recipe at "Whats Cooking Dad?"". Whatscookingdad.com. 2009-01-06. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  6. ^ "News Quiz: Special Holiday Edition". 2011 Southern Indiana Current Magazine. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  7. ^ Köket: Grundrecept på raggmunk (Swedish only) Linked 2019-02-14
  8. ^ Köket: Potatisplättar (Swedish only) Linked 2019-02-14
  9. ^ Köket: Råraka, grundrecept (Swedish only) Linked 2019-02-14
  10. ^ Hemmets Journal: Potatisbullar (Swedish only) Linked 2019-02-14
  11. ^ Koenig, Leah (17 March 2015). Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes & Customs for Today's Kitchen. Chronicle Books. p. 119. ISBN 9781452132327. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  12. ^ Marks, Gil (17 November 2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 707. ISBN 978-0544186316. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Discover the History of Latkes - PBS Food". PBS. 12 December 2011.
  14. ^ Appelbaum, Yoni (11 December 2015). "Everything You Know About Latkes Is Wrong". The Atlantic. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  15. ^ Rachael Ray, Quick Potato and Carrot Latkes, The Food Network, December 20, 2008.
  16. ^ Philip and Karen Selwyn, Potato-carrot-onion Latkes, rec.food.cuisine.jewish archives, Oct. 11, 1998, 1:00 AM.
  17. ^ "The only latke recipe video you'll ever need". JTA. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  18. ^ DLC (2006-12-18). "Analysis of the word "latke"". Balashon. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  19. ^ Altyntsev A. V., "The Concept of Love in Ashkenazim of Udmurtia and Tatarstan", Nauka Udmurtii. 2013. No. 4 (66), p. 131. (Алтынцев А. В., "Чувство любви в понимании евреев-ашкенази Удмуртии и Татарстана" Archived 2017-03-21 at the Wayback Machine. Наука Удмуртии. 2013. №4. С. 131: Комментарии (in Russian)).
  20. ^ Krzysztof Kucharski, "Nie wszyscy pewnie wiedzą.." (Not everybody knows). Gazeta Wrocławska, Poland, 2008-08-22. (in Polish)
  21. ^ "Placki ziemniaczane". Kącik kulinarny (in Polish). Szlak Pielgrzymkowy - Święte Miejsca Warmii. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  22. ^ a b Krzysztof Kucharski, "Nie wszyscy pewnie wiedzą.." str. 3 (Not everybody knows, p. 3). Gazeta Wrocławska, Poland, 2008-08-22. (in Polish)
  23. ^ Different recipes for "placki ziemniaczane" at Onet.pl Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine (in Polish)
  24. ^ "Wysmażyli największy placek ziemniaczany świata" [They made the largest pancake in the world)]. Święto plinzy Rzechta 2011 in Echo Turku (Plinza holiday in Rzechta) (in Polish). Wydawnictwo - Przegląd Koniński (publishing). August 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  25. ^ "Kuku-ye Sibzamini (Potato Patties)". Vida Vitality, Bad Assing it All The Way. VidaVitality.com. March 25, 2014. Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.