Chanukah Donuts

Eating fried foods at Chanukah is a common Jewish way to commemorate the miracle of Chanukah when a very small amount of oil lasted for eight days rather than one during the rededication of the Temple. In Hebrew you’d say Sufganiyot (soof-gah-nee-YAH), which comes from the Hebrew word for sponge and in Yiddish they are called ponchkes, which is very close to the Polish paczki. This may seem surprising initially but on reflection it made complete sense. Eastern European Jews learned recipes from their neighbors and incorporated them into their own traditions. Eating fried food was already part of the holiday celebrations so ponchkes were a great addition. When Jews emigrated to Israel after WWII they took their eating traditions with them but gave them Hebrew names. That’s how we got Sufganiyot. The original Eastern European version was two pieces of dough with jam filling put together and fried in one piece. Now they resemble the American jelly donut, the German Berliner and our local favorite Polish Paczki.

The tasty tradition of fresh doughnuts with sweet fillings for Chanukah is making its first appearance at Zingerman’s. We’ll use four great fillings: rich chocolate, red raspberry, sweetened ricotta cheese, and apricot preserves. The Bakehouse will be frying up a limited amount, so order in advance for Chanukah! Only available Tuesday 12/20, starting at 7am so call Zingerman’s Bakehouse at 734-761-2095 to place your order.