As many of you reading this blog probably celebrate Christmas and follow all of the special and very different traditions one of my favorite parts of Hanukkah is making and then eating Sufganiyot. I especially love doing it with my family and friends!!
First just a little background history on why we celebrate Hanukkah. It is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Judah Maccabee’s Jewish army over the Greek soldiers and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It marks the religious freedom of the Jewish community. Lastly, this holiday pays tribute to the miracle of oil which lasted 8 days instead of just 1. This is why we light the menorah for 8 nights during Hanukkah.
Now back to this week’s delicious treat… Sufganiyot!!! You are most definitely wondering what the heck I am talking about and may have never even heard of this dessert. A sufganiyah (singular for sufganiyot) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Isreal and around the world during the holiday of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried filled with jelly, custard, or even chocolate based on your liking. Then topped with powdered sugar.
The reason we eat this special treat on Hanukkah is for Jewish people to observe the custom of eating fried foods in honor of the miracle associated with the Temple oil on how it lasted much longer than thought possible.
The word sufganiyot can be traced back to the Greek word sufan meaning fried or spongy. It is said that this is how these treats have gotten their name. Originally they were not a dessert filled with jelly and custard, etc. The first friend doughnut in European history typically contained meat or mushrooms but over time has changed into this amazing dessert that is sold all over the U.S. and of course Isreal today!