08 December 2009

Chanukah: What's new in doughnuts

The place to be for Chanukah - if you are a conisseur of sufganiyot (doughnuts to the linguistically-challenged) - is Israel.

Each year, new varieties are available at streetside tents where the delectable delights are fried fresh for lines of people. The air is thick with the fragrance of frying oil and chocolate, and whatever "in" varieties are on the menu.

When I worked on the Jerusalem Post's Metro weekly, we did an annual article on what new flavors were available at the major bakeries.

While it seems that only jelly doughnuts are found in the US, that's not the situation here. In any case, even if you do find them here, the jelly is not that horrible library paste stuff I knew in Hebrew school, but is often imported strawberry or raspberry jam or jelly. I still hate them.

Even as a kid, I asked, don't these come in chocolate? My seemingly blasphemous question produced shocked responses from the adults.

Luckily, in Tel Aviv, chocolate is always part of the holiday lineup, either outside or filled with. Plain chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate rum, and lots of other fillings, along with dulce de leche, pina colada, with chocolate coating or not, with sprinkles or not, with various flavored liqueurs. Also available are the regular large ones in addition to mini-versions.

What I haven't seen here are doughnut holes. In Southern Nevada, we often bought doughnut holes by the bag for snacks for the Hebrew school students.

This year, according to YNet, the A list includes vodka. when you buy your holiday supply, remember to bring your ID. The alcohol content is supposedly that of a bottle of beer. According to the story, the alcohol content is 35% for each

The vodka importer hired a pastry chef who's also a bartender to create the new items. The vodka is mixed with the jam filling, but bakeries may decide to add it to other flavors, such as chocolate.

I remember an NYU geology class, when we took thermoses (is the plural of thermos thermosi?) of hot chocolate with vodka on our field trips. None of us froze, but we didn't get much done in the way of rock-hunting. We were fortunate in that we didn't have to climb steep hills or cliffs.

The story reports that those who eat two or more of these doughnuts should consider taking a taxi home after their holiday parties.

A 100-gram (about 3 oz.) donut costs about $1.18 or NIS 4.5, and has 90 milliliters of vodka in the jam filling.

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