a different side of Israel

The Ultimate Sufganiya Guide

Hanukkah SufganiyaEvery Hanukkah I go on a search for the ultimate Sufganiya. This year so far this is the official winner. The Sufganiya, basically a jelly donut on steroids, needs to have very specific qualities to be a contender. The dough has to be soft and puffy not chewy and gummy (these are all technical terms). The Jam needs to be Strawberry falvoured, and should be well injected and abundent (notice the injection hole). The jam itself has to be of good stock with bits of fruit in it (none of that exotic butterscotch crap).

Coloring is key. The Sufganiya has to be just the right golden Brown with a lighter girdle right around the center (AKA “The Unfryed Zone“). The Sufganiya connoisseur will also notice the size, this one in the picture is a full size Sufganiya weighing in at a respectable 80 grams – NOT a mini. This size requirement is well planned and is just the right size to go along with a good cup of coffee meant not to end before you even get half way through the cup.

Finally the powdered sugar – make sure there is just the right amount of powdered sugar on the top, not too little and not too much which may mean there is something to hide.

This year I came across some Sufganiyot that were well below standard and in some cases were bordering on the criminal. I actually found some that were fake donuts. They had some jam marking on the top but when you bit into them there was nothing there. Sacrilegious.

In Israel this year we are going to consume 18,000,000 of these suckers, spending an estimated 50 Million Shekels ($12 Million). The army will be providing 450,000 donuts to personnel. The average Israeli will eat 3-4 Sufganiyot during the 8 days of Hanukkah. A Sufganiya is between 2.5 – 8 Shekel (the one in the picture was 4) and despite an increase in production costs the price of the Sufganiya has not increased this year.

Chag Samech 🙂


  1. Dunkin Doughnuts are still better.

  2. I’ve never had a Sufganiyot. Having had a jelly doughnut, I would have to say, when it comes to celebatory food my favorite is Kugel. (noodle) Yum Yum.

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