Powdered sugar is obviously so last year.
December 15, 2014 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Chanukkah begins tomorrow night and the traditional foods are fried in oil. Latkes (potato pancakes) are established Hanukkah treats but the other treat most common in Israel are doughnuts. Ashkenazi Jews eat sufganiyot, which have their origins in Germany and are traditionally filled with strawberry jam. In North Africa the doughnuts are called sfenj (pronounced shfinz) and generally are traced to Morocco. Sfenj are drizzled with honey or date syrup.

But lately, the race is on to concoct the most exotic, unusual, buzz-generating version imaginable of this classic Hanukkah treat of fried dough with filling.

In recent years, it’s become a sort of national competition. Israel’s top pastry chefs begin toiling on their sufganiyot collections months in advance, in the heat of the summer, scratching their brains for new ideas, trying new twists on old favorites, and testing out creative combinations of fillings and icings.

And the filling flavors – where to begin? Creme brulee, pistachio custard, tiramisu, dark chocolate with bits of candied orange peel, halva creme, apples and cinnamon, fresh strawberries and the list goes on.

But, "(t)he bakers say they have had no choice but to charge more due to their own increased costs. ""Roladin is the chain that has instituted the largest price increase this year. The chain says this is the first time in five years that it has imposed a price hike. Known for its large variety of Hanukkah donuts, the chain increased prices on premium donuts from eight to nine shekels ($2.03 to $2.28) per item. Roladin’s price for the simple, traditional variety with strawberry filling has been raised from 4.50 shekels to five shekels, while the dulce de leche-filled version is going for six shekels instead of last year’s 5.50. Versions that come with their own tube of liqueur filling are available this year at 10 shekels instead of 9.50."
posted by Sophie1 (45 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mmmm now I want latkes!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:13 AM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's like no, really, I will eat the hell out of any fried food--especially doughnuts and variations thereof--but sometimes it's exhausting to have so many fancy versions of things. Fancy is awesome, but often a classic cannot be beat.
posted by Kitteh at 8:16 AM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I would like to eat all of these now please.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:22 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Those chicken fritters are going on my to-make list, they look amazingly delicious with all those spices on them.....is it lunchtime yet?
posted by quaking fajita at 8:25 AM on December 15, 2014


Mmmm now I want latkes!

Dear Laurie,

Bring home potatoes and onions.

Your loving husband,
Mike
posted by mikelieman at 8:26 AM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


This weekend's NY Times Magazine included some doughnut recipes.
posted by Mchelly at 8:27 AM on December 15, 2014


I have a feeling the sufganiyot and the Romanian gogoși are probably similar or even the same. And a gogoașa is a beautiful thing, so sign me up.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:29 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


What's with the sweets? Hanukkah is about latkes and fried chicken! If you've got room for a doughnut, you've failed to eat enough of the mains and should go back for seconds.
posted by Lighthammer at 8:43 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Leave room for your winnings of chocolate coins after the dreidel spin off.
posted by sammyo at 8:47 AM on December 15, 2014


Yeah, to me the true taste of Hanukkah will always be the awful waxiness of chocolate gelt, the most repulsive form of chocolate known to mankind.
posted by RogerB at 8:54 AM on December 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


mizrahim: donuts! delicious cakes! pastry contest! honey and date extravaganza!
ashkenazim: here is your potato
posted by poffin boffin at 8:54 AM on December 15, 2014 [41 favorites]


Date syrup! I once ended up with 11 jars of the stuff. I needed some for a recipe (2 tbsp), but the only place I could find it was Amazon, and then only in jars of 6, 450g each. One of the jars arrive damaged, with date syrup all over the inside of the box (my dog's eyes lit up when she saw it). A phone call to Amazon revealed that the box of 6 couldn't be split, so I got another box delivered free of charge. This was three years ago. I still have 2 jars left.

If there are any Jewish peeps near to the West Midlands of England who need a jar for drizzling, let me know. I will gladly accept any kind of pastries in exchange.
posted by Solomon at 9:04 AM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


mizrahim: donuts! delicious cakes! pastry contest! honey and date extravaganza!
ashkenazim: here is your potato


Your extremely yummy fried potato, thankyouverymuch.

That being said, I admit that the Mizrahim (and Sephardim) pretty much have us beat on the culinary front.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:15 AM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


nd the traditional foods are fried in oil.

Yes, and...? You don't give a reason for this for being mentioned - is it a problem? Is it going to be replaced? Is the type of oil changing?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:30 AM on December 15, 2014


23andme informed me this year that I have an Ashkenazi great-great-grandparent, so my habit of eating latkes for Hanukkah can't be considered cultural appropriation any more. It's tradition. And now I get to add sufganiyot, huh? Thank science!
posted by Soliloquy at 9:30 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do not eat the chocolate coins. I repeat, do not eat the chocolate coins. They are not delicious and are made of lies. Instead, choose something delicious. Like sufganiyot.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:38 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also, please everyone eat latkes. It is in no way cultural appropriation, it is delicious food that we wish to share.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:39 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yes, and...? You don't give a reason for this for being mentioned - is it a problem?

Traditionally, the foods are fried in oil to commemorate the oil of the Eternal Flame burning for eight days instead of just one. Some days I think all Jewish sacred traditions are retcons intended to help us eat the tastiest possible foods. (And then I remember matzohs, and my theory collapses.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:39 AM on December 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


"They didn't wipe us out, once again! Now everyone celebrate by eating the unhealthiest of foods!"
posted by ChuraChura at 9:52 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Here's one more Ashkenazi dude saying: a really good latke crushes a sufganya.

Not to deny that the Mizrachim have us beat on food. They do, in nearly every respect. That's why the few things my Slavic forbears really got right should be appropriately celebrated.

Now quiet down and eat your buckwheat groats.
posted by escabeche at 9:57 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Now quiet down and eat your buckwheat groats.

With pleasure.
posted by kenko at 10:01 AM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sufganiyot have been in bakeries near me since mid-November, a full month before Chanukah. At first I thought it was sort of like seeing Christmas decorations in malls before Halloween, but then I shut up and ate more donuts. So many donuts.
posted by lullaby at 10:14 AM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


"They didn't wipe us out, once again! Now everyone celebrate by eating the unhealthiest of foods!"

As a child, I was informed by our rabbi that almost every Jewish holiday can be summarized as "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat."
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:20 AM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Hanukkah in Israel is daaaaangerous. Every bakery has sufganiyot, and most of the time there's a batch fresh out of the fryer.

My personal best (worst?) was seven donuts in one day (in my defence, at the time I was 18 and also working out a ton).
posted by Itaxpica at 10:45 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


As a Frankonian I think Krapfen should only be filled with Hagebuttenmark (a sort of rosehip puree).
Unfortunately impossible to get here in Berlin where they always fill them with plum jam. Bleh. (And they call them Pfannkuchen, while everybody knows that Pfannkuchen should refer to pancakes, which they call 'Eierkuchen'. Eggcakes. What cake doesn't use eggs?)
posted by ts;dr at 10:46 AM on December 15, 2014


> I repeat, do not eat the chocolate coins

The white chocolate ones especially should be forwarded to me for safe, controlled disposalom nom nom ...
posted by scruss at 12:22 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, please everyone eat latkes. It is in no way cultural appropriation, it is delicious food that we wish to share.

Oakely Doakely, neighborino! I'll bring the sour cream and apple-sauce.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:43 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have a batch of Mandelbread dough in the fridge; I wonder what would happen if I fried it??

Chanukkah begins tomorrow night

So Sunday morning my mom called to tell me she wasn't feeling well, and could we postpone Hanukkah dinner (aka dinner at Izzy's Deli) until Monday? Of course, no problem! Today she calls to say she's still not feeling well, and she hates having to postpone Hanukkah another day. I tell her not to worry, and besides, Hanukkah is eight nights so we still have six more days to go to Izzy's!

We're hopeless.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:45 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fried mandelbread sounds moderately dangerous. Would the density of the mandelbrot even fry up? I'm afraid it would just be soaked in oil with a crusty shell. But then again, I think you should try it and report your results. For science.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:53 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just remembered that I'm in the same city as you Room 641-A! I will taste these fried mandelbrot. Again, for the sake of science!
posted by Sophie1 at 12:55 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


One of the jars arrive damaged, with date syrup all over the inside of the box (my dog's eyes lit up when she saw it). A phone call to Amazon revealed that the box of 6 couldn't be split, so I got another box delivered free of charge.
posted by Solomon at 12:04 PM on December 15 [3 favorites +] [!]


Epony-wise-king-sterical. Clearly this is how Solomon's original trial should have been settled - free food in excess.
posted by ilana at 1:39 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


This thread just sent me into pre-emptive existential angst about other religious holiday foods I can no longer have, as a Chicagoan in the Netherlands. O Pączki, I have three months to find out how you are made and to be terrified of the deep frier!

and seriously, albert heijn, would it kill you to stock some matzoh ball mix? us atheists get sick and need comfort food soup just like our friends' grandmas used to make too, you know. and, not holiday, but are there actual bagels in this town anywhere? because mama needs her bagels.
posted by sldownard at 1:48 PM on December 15, 2014


free food in excess

Something something baby food?
posted by Solomon at 2:08 PM on December 15, 2014


Over roughly the past year I have developed an inability to eat potatoes. (A sandwich-accompaniment mini-bag of potato chips gives me 24-hours-plus of digestive discomfort. An order of fries means three days of feeling like I have a brick slowly moving through my intestines.)

I am so envious of all y'all eating latkes. No, no, go on — I'll just sit here with the applesauce feeling jealous. And hungry.

Sufganiyot, you say? Hello there…
posted by Lexica at 7:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sweet potato latkes are certainly not canonical, but they're really tasty. Mix 'em up with the usual onions, eggs, and corn/almond meal; they can stand to host 1/4 of their bulk as grated beets or carrots. Use plenty of olive oil, enjoy.
posted by Jesse the K at 7:30 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Use plenty of olive oil, enjoy.

You mean "the jar of schmalz in your fridge", I hope.
posted by kenko at 7:50 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


The first night of Hanukkah happens to also be our thirteenth anniversary. While meal planning, I scheduled takeout for tomorrow, since neither of us should cook on our anniversary. We've decided on barbecued pig, 'cause we're bad Jews. We do have gelt for the kiddo, though. Also, it's really difficult to get a brisket in this town. Also, also, in a bit of irony, Mr. Ruki is getting a new deep fryer for Hanukkah. Good thing we have seven other nights in which to be traditional.
posted by Ruki at 8:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Only kind of relevant, but I thought it was funny:

Haredim Puzzled By World’s Use Of Sukkah Decorations In December
Bnei Brak, Israel, December 16 – Israeli ultra-orthodox Jews voiced confusion this week upon seeing vast stretches of foreign cities and towns decorated with tinsel, a material obviously intended for the Sukkah.

The holiday of Sukkot ended two months ago, and Jews of all stripes have by this time dismantled their temporary dwellings for the festival and disposed of, or at least stowed, the decorations. The sight of decorations festooning the streets, houses, businesses, and public facilities across Europe and the Americas therefore sparks bewilderment.
[...]
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:39 AM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


So are the jewish chocolate coins the same as the ones that we Christians have at Christmas?

Or is there some special kosher process involved in making the jewish coins? Because ours taste of wax impregnated shite as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:00 AM on December 16, 2014


Each one has been passed by a rabbi.

And tastes like it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:14 AM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am so envious of all y'all eating latkes. No, no, go on — I'll just sit here with the applesauce feeling jealous. And hungry.

Lexica, may I recommend Vegan Crispy Lentil Fritters? Not only are they potato-free, they're even feminist!
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:18 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lexica: Check this list. Skipping the potato ones, the sweet potato/turnip, beet, butternut squash, zucchini and brussel sprout variations on latkes all look pretty well fried and therefore delicious.

I went to a hippie seder once where we had latkes. Because, really, why just once a year?
posted by theweasel at 6:23 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I went to a Jewish/Christian couple's Holiday Party two nights ago and they had fresh homemade latkes right next to the honey ham. Good eatin' for this gentile omnivore.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:06 AM on December 16, 2014


Well, thanks to this thread my co-workers are getting donuts tomorrow morning. I hope you're pleased with yourselves.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:04 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ah, Sharansky: Camp Fire
In his memoir, the famous refusenik remembered celebrating Hanukkah in the Soviet Gulag

posted by Joe in Australia at 2:05 AM on December 18, 2014


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