Hanukkah Treat: Sufganiyot
Like many other Jewish holidays, Hanukkah has distinctive food that are really only eaten at certain times a year. For this holiday, most of the traditional foods are fried, which is a nice gut punch after the gluttony of Thanksgiving.
Every year, I like to bring something to work to mark Jewish holidays to share with my coworkers. And every year, they also get a plate of homemade latkes. But this year I wanted to be different. There is no mystery to most people, thanks to places like Katz's Deli, about what a latke is these days, but sufganiyot require a little more explaining.
Sufganiyot (or sufganiot, sufganiyah in the singular) are similar to the regular, run of the mill, jelly donut, except the donut itself is a heartier texture and much less sweet.
However, telling your co-workers you brought sufganiyot to work just sounds freaking cooler than telling them you brought them donuts, even though I've often resorted to telling them that they are "Jew donuts," anyway. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients and toppings, but most traditionalists use a raspberry or strawberry jam and just dust the tops with powdered sugar. To me, they are an occasional treat, and thankfully, they are really only found in friends' parents' kitchens or in a few places around the city at Hanukkah (plus standard donuts give me a hell of a heartburn).
The sufganiyot at 3 Brothers are about as close as I can get to the homemade ones, plus they are one of the few places, if not the only one, where you can get them. If there are more, I've never been aware of them, as family and friends always go to 3 Brothers. The lemon and chocolate are by far my favorite, and I did manage to grab a chocolate before the rest got devoured. Once my donut was gone, all that was left by the coffee table by my coworkers was a box with a few crumbs and a little grease stain. Now I just have to wait till next year.
If you DO happen to know where else in the city to get them, help a lady out and let me know.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.