Hanukkah has officially arrived at Walt Disney World with a signature cocktail
For the first year, Hanukkah is getting some serious love at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with a new booth dedicated to holiday treats. Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center International Festival of Holidays is celebrating Hanukkah with specialty foods and a signature cocktail.
People Magazine says that the eight-night Jewish festival (called the Festival of Lights) which started on Sunday at sundown has brought a new food booth to the park called the L’Chaim (L’Chaim means “to life”) Holiday Kitchen. The booth features traditional and Jewish deli foods from around the world.
“The L’Chaim! food booth offers a selection of New York-style eats, including pastrami on rye, a potato knish, chicken and matzo ball soup, and a black and white cookie. Egg creams, Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager and a ‘blue Cosmo cocktail’ are all on the menu as well.”
The L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen also features the traditional Hanukkah treat, latkes, or potato pancakes, which are served with applesauce and/or sour cream.
Elsewhere in EPCOT, there are performers telling the story of Hanukkah, which commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and sharing the holiday’s traditions from around the world.
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People Magazine adds that the Jewish holiday is also being celebrated at the American Adventure section of EPCOT.
“Perhaps the biggest surprise is the inclusion of “Hevenu Shalom Alechem” (“Peace to You”) sung entirely in Hebrew by the Liberty Singers at The American Adventure. The a cappella group has been performing a Hanukkah medley for years along with a wide range of Christmas songs.”
The Holiday Kitchen at EPCOT will continue through the end of the month of December.
But the Jerusalem Post says that the L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen has its critics as much of the food has nothing to do with the holiday, and more importantly, it’s not Kosher, meaning that at least a percentage of Jewish people can’t eat it, says writer Aly Walansky.
“Why have a Jewish kitchen when many Jews, arguably a big part of the target audience for this pop-up, won’t be able to eat the food?”
Another writer called it “A shallow caricature of Jewish cuisine.”
A Disney spokesperson released a statement in reference to the question about the food not being kosher.
“[L’Chaim! kitchen] draws inspiration from traditional Jewish dishes and that all of our festival food and beverage items are prepared in a shared kitchen space and due to those operational needs, we are unable to meet kosher guidelines.”
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