Hanukkah play

Something about Hanukkah — this year, starting at sunset on December 16th — seems to invite word play, on the name of the holiday or on the name of its signature food, the latke, or potato pancake. This year we get a cross-language portmanteau (okonomi-latke), for a cross-cultural food (a Japanese-Jewish pancake). From Sam Sifton in the New York Times cooking archives:

This hybrid of the Japanese okonomiyaki pancake and the traditional Jewish latke is from Sawako Okochi and Aaron Israel, the chefs and owners of Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It works beautifully in any setting where you might ordinarily serve latkes and is a fine base for caviars of any hue.

(Recipe on the site.)

(Hat tip to Sim Aberson.)

Then on Facebook, Chuk Craig took things one step further:

[Q:] What do you call a Japanese savory pancake made by independent animated 11 year old girls?

[A:] Okonomiyazaki.

Oi, okonomiyaki + Miyazaki. On the latter, from Wikipedia:

Hayao Miyazaki (… born January 5, 1941) is a Japanese film director, animator, manga artist, illustrator, producer, and screenwriter. Through a career that has spanned six decades, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a masterful storyteller and as a maker of anime feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park, and American director Steven Spielberg. He is considered one of the most popular and influential animators in cinema.

… While Miyazaki’s films have long enjoyed both commercial and critical success in Japan, he remained largely unknown to the West until Miramax Films released Princess Mononoke (1997). Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing film in Japan until it was eclipsed by another 1997 film, Titanic

Earlier Hanukkah play on this blog:

12/18/11: Latkepalooza: a portmanteau

12/25/11: Jewish portmanteaus: Kenny Ellis’s “Hanu-Calypso”, from his album Hanukkah Swings

12/8/12: Holiday greetings: Hannukat

10/23/13: Portmanteau news: #2 Thanksgivukah

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