Holiday Entertaining Guide - Page 33 - A sweeter Hanukkah

Holiday Entertaining Guide
- Page 33
A sweeter Hanukkah
Not long ago, sufganiyot were almost unknown in the United States. At Hanukkah, Jews ate potato latkes, brisket (because brisket is traditional for pretty much all holiday meals) and maybe a couple of those little coins made out of chocolate.

But that was when Hanukkah was a relatively unimportant event. Because it comes around at about the same time as Christmas, it has come to be treated as if it were a major holiday.

And a major holiday needs more than just potato pancakes, an inexpensive cut of meat and a bit of chocolate. So sufganiyot— basically, they are jelly doughnuts—made their way to these shores from Israel, where they are very popular.

The reason for eating sufganiyot (soof- GAHN-(i)yoat) for Hanukkah is the same as latkes:They are fried in oil. Hanukkah celebrates a miracle involving oil—when Jewish rebels entered the Second Temple, which they had liberated from the Seleucid Empire in 165 B.C., they found only enough oil to light the candelabra for one day. But according to legend, the lights stayed lit for eight days until more oil could be procured.

Over a couple of millennia, this story has come to be celebrated by eating fried foods. So why not doughnuts? Especially after Polish Jews settled in Israel, bringing with them the traditional Polish doughnut called pazcki, which some believe is the origin of sufganiyot.

As with all jelly doughnuts, sufganiyot consist of two parts, the jelly part and the