Dough­nuts with a spin

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Jerusalem

– Con­sider the dough­nut. Good, right? Now con­sider that dough­nut made with gourmet in­gre­di­ents like creme de cas­sis, stuffed with fresh fruit or topped with choco­late pearls.

Re­ally good, right? At this time of year in Is­rael, that and more can be found.

Is­raeli chefs are giv­ing the tra­di­tion­ally ba­sic Hanukkah dough­nut – called “suf­ganiyot” in He­brew – a higher pur­pose as Jews in­dulge in the sweet, doughy treat for the hol­i­day.

“Not only do we use the best prod­ucts, but we have a se­cret,” said Yitzhak Ka­dosh, chef at his fam­ily’s Jerusalem cafe Ka­dosh, known for its high-qual­ity suf­ganiyot at Hanukkah time.

There is a story be­hind the dough­nuts and the eight-day cel­e­bra­tion of Hanukkah, or Fes­ti­val of Lights, which be­gan on Sun­day night.

The hol­i­day com­mem­o­rates one of the great vic­to­ries in Jewish his­tory, when in the sec­ond cen­tury BC, af­ter de­feat­ing the Seleu­cids rul­ing the Holy Land, a small group of Jews, led by Ju­dah Mac­cabee, re­con­se­crated the des­e­crated Tem­ple of Jerusalem.

Tra­di­tion says that when they sought to re­light the tem­ple’s meno­rah, only one day’s worth of un­de­filed oil re­mained. It mirac­u­lously burned for eight days, al­low­ing time to pre­pare more oil.

To mark the hol­i­day, Jews light one can­dle on a hanukiah can­de­labra each night. The tra­di­tional hanukiah in­cludes nine branches, with one serv­ing to kin­dle the oth­ers.

Here’s where the dough­nuts come in.

It is also part of the hol­i­day tra­di­tion to eat foods fried in oil, in­clud­ing suf­ganiyot.

The ba­sic jelly-filled suf­ganiyot and vari­a­tions on it can be found all over this time of year.

But some have sought to turn the dough­nuts into a prod­uct, if not as mirac­u­lous as the mir­a­cle Hanukkah cel­e­brates, then at least some­thing that’s re­ally worth savour­ing.

For Ka­dosh, a reg­u­lar dough­nut just won’t do.

Last year, Ka­dosh cafe cel­e­brated its 50 years in busi­ness by of­fer­ing 50 dif­fer­ent ver­sions of suf­ganiyot.

Among its most orig­i­nal cre­ations have been dough­nuts made with creme de cas­sis liqueur, salted caramel, pis­ta­chio and pas­try cream.

Ka­dosh sells be­tween 2 000 and 3 000 dough­nuts per day dur­ing the Hanukkah sea­son. – AFP

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