In Israel, sufganiyot (donuts) are sold exclusively for Chanukah and are not available for purchase the rest of the year. You can feel Chanukah in the air starting shortly after Rosh Chodesh CHESHVAN, when the stores start selling the most awesome donuts. Their presence is noted by their prominent displays in store windows and it serves to set off the mood for the upcoming Chanukah season. They’re all super delicious - whether they be custard filled, jelly filled, chocolate, or caramel filled - I can’t decide on a favorite. Actually, whichever one I am eating at that moment is my favorite!
Where I live, donuts are sold in bakeries and bagel shops all year round, so seeing them in the stores doesn’t automatically create an anticipation of Chanukah. . The donuts and sufganiyot are also not all created equal. My favorite store-bought ones (after the free ones given out at KosherWest Supermarket each day of Chanukah ;)) are the ones from Shloime’s Bakery in Brooklyn which are also sold in Lakewood, at Gingerbread House. But still, nothing compares to the fresh, homemade ones I make each year. To kick off the Chanukah season here, I am going to post different varieties of homemade donuts every few days. Please rate them in your comments and feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your favorite donut recipe for possible inclusion.
photo credit: Bakingandbooks.com