The One Food Ed Asner Couldn't Stop Eating As A Child

Fans of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" will no doubt recall the "tough-talking newsroom head" Lou Grant, played by Ed Asner, according to Variety. The entertainment publication notes that seven-time Emmy winner Asner also played the same role on the spin-off drama "Lou Grant," in addition to an impressive number of other roles on various TV shows. Younger fans may even recognize his voice from the 2009 animated film "Up" or from any of the other cartoons he did voice work for, including "Gargoyles" and "Spider-Man."

It's hard not to admire the late actor's lauded legacy, but long before he was winning Emmys, he was just a child eating his mother's cooking, which, it turns out, may not have always been an enjoyable experience. As Asner put it in an episode of "The Meal of Your Life," "My mother in the main was a rotten cook." He explains in the interview that there was one dish, though, that his mother "really knew how to bake," and in this regard, according to Asner, "nobody could come close to her."

Ed Asner loved his mom's latkes

Though Ed Asner consistently described his mother's cooking skills as less than desirable, she certainly made one dish that stayed on his mind throughout his life, and that was her latkes. The iconic television star told the Orlando Sentinel, "My favorite kosher food was the latkes my mother, who was not a good cook, made for Pesach [Passover]." According to, latkes are potato pancakes, and like in the Asner family, they are often served for Jewish holidays. Asner went on to tell the news outlet, "Granted, she made them at other times, but at Pesach the supply was unlimited."

But, what exactly made Asner's mother's latkes so delicious? According to Asner, his mother's latkes were larger than a coaster, greasy, thin, and browned on both sides. As Asner explained to the Orlando Sentinel, "Once you started eating them you couldn't stop." Apparently, he wasn't the only one who couldn't get enough of his mother's special latkes. He told the publication that his "hulking" brother and cousin would compete against each other to see who could eat more. Now, that's a little family competition we would have liked to get in on!

The nostalgia for those latkes lasted late into life for Asner, and he told the outlet, "As an adult, I've never tasted latkes comparable to Mom's." There was a simple explanation for that, as Asner told "The Meal of Your Life," his mom made "the best latkes in the world."