Sufganiyah: A Delicious Hanukkah Treat

Christmas isn’t the only holiday being celebrated this month. Besides Christmas Eve, December 24th also marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” Hanukkah is observed for eight straight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev, a month in the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah may occur anywhere from late November to late December, according to the Gregorian calendar.

As with Christmas, Hanukkah carries its own rich holiday traditions. As the story goes, a flask with only enough oil to light the menorah in the Holy Temple for one day was able to miraculously last eight nights. Those who celebrate Hanukkah commemorate the Temple miracle by eating foods fried in oil.

One of these delicious treats is called sufganiyah(soof-gah-nee-ah) a deep fried donut, filled with jelly or custard, topped with powdered sugar.

The word sufganiyah can be traced back to the arabic word “sfenj” a smaller type of deep-fried donut. Jews in North Africa have eaten similar fried balls of dough to celebrate Hanukkah for centuries.

But sufganiyah didn’t contain their iconic jelly filling until they reached central Europe. Colonies established in the carribean brought cheap sugar to Europe in the 16th century.¬†Fruit preserves quickly became popular and, as a result, so did fruit filled pastries. The recipe for jelly donuts spread throughout Europe, eventually reaching Jews in Poland. The Polish Jews substituted the un-kosher lard with goose fat and began eating the donuts regularly on Hanukkah.

These groups eventually fled Europe, fearing the harsh anti-semitism of the early 20th century and migrated to Israel. Fortunately, they brought along their delicious jelly filled pastries. From there the Hanukkah tradition of Sufganiyah began to spread around the world.

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3 Essential Candy Stocking-Stuffers

Thanksgiving is over, which means it’s time to start preparing for Christmas! Last week, we talked about the origin of the candy cane. This traditional holiday treat can be found all over the world, at this time. Yet, candy canes aren’t the only popular Christmas candy. Consider the following stocking-stuffers, next time you’re out holiday shopping.

1.Peppermint Bark

This delicious chocolate confection is the perfect holiday treat. It generally consists of peppermint candy pieces embedded in white chocolate, on top of a dark chocolate bark.

2. Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle is a confection that consists of hard sugar candy pieces filled with peanuts. There are many variations of this delicious confectionary around the world. You can find brittle year-round, but it surges in popularity during the holidays.


Toffee is made by caramelizing sugar along with butter and sometimes flour. The consistency of the candy can range from soft and chewy to hard and brittle. In the US, “English toffee” is a particularly popular variant. English toffee is very buttery and is often made with almonds.

These treats, store-bought or home-made, are bound to brighten anyone’s Christmas. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making them yourself, make sure to check out our online store.

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