Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The debate that REALLY matters
In 1946 a crazy group, of likely drunk, Jewish students on the campus of the University of Chicago campus got a little hot under the collar and starting debating the merits of the latke over the hamantaschen. When the Manischewitz ran out they thought the whole thing would blow over but low and behold, these 62 years later the arguing continues. Through the years, Nobel laureates, politicians, lawyers and thinkers from all disciplines have debated the pro and cons of the triangle cookies and the fried potato disks. Each year more than a thousand people line up to and stand for an hour in the frigid Chicago cold to hear the masters defend their food of choice. Many schools, synagogues and community groups have attempted to replicate the grandeur and significance of this U of C tradition but few have the traction, the depth, the texture or the bite of the debate in its purest form.
If you are in the Chicagoland area on the 25th you can come out and have your say. The pre-debate show promises to be top notch with spoken word poet Kevin Coval weighing in and song writer Alan Jay Sufrin sharing a battle ballad of his own. Yours truly will be on location, demonstrating the best technique for making a hamantaschen and showcasing my favorite recipe.
But even if you can't make it down to Mandel Hall don't miss out on South Side election fever. Over on the left side of the page you can have your say. Latkes or Hamantaschen?