Anthony Fauci would like the Jews to know he prefers “latkoos” to “hanoontashen,” but when eating the former, he appreciates both applesauce and sour cream.
America’s best-known infectious disease doctor was the surprise guest at the13th annual Latke vs Hamantaschen Debate at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland, held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Folks, here is Dr. Fauci’s intervention in the 13th annual Latke-Hamantashen Debate at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD, which took place earlier this week. Spoiler: he’s Team Latke. The best part is how he thinks he has to introduce himself in case we don’t know who he is. pic.twitter.com/Og1HbVZpVE— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) December 17, 2020
Fauci gave his support to both foods — the latke, a mainstay of Hanukkah, the hamantaschen, a Purim treat — but still managed to get roundly roasted on Jewish Twitter for his pronunciation.
!!! How is it possible for someone born and raised in Brooklyn in the 1940s to mangle the pronunciation of latkes so badly. Hamantaschen I could maybe understand. But this lat-koos thing is a head scratcher.— Lisa Friedman (@LFFriedman) December 17, 2020
It’s kind of like his first pitch that day for the Washington Nationals. So unbelievably awful it’s endearing.— Alan Cantor (@Al_Cantor) December 17, 2020
Fauci specified that on the question of toppings, prefers sour cream, before wishing the congregation a happy Hanukkah and reminding them to continue to wear masks.
The latke-hamantashen debate format was first established at the University of Chicago. The school has hosted an annual scholarly dispute between notable Jewish academics on the merits of the two holiday delicacies since 1946. Participants are encouraged to bring their academic work to bear on the subject, and past debaters have included Nobel Prize winners such as Milton Friedman, George Stigler and Leon M. Lederman. The tradition has since spread to other institutions.