Donut Quiche

by Brian on December 8, 2004

in Jewish Holidays and Culture

I know they’re bad for
me. But I can’t resist.

I’m talking about donuts, of course.
Whatever shape, size or variety, I go do-m’shuga-nut over them. And at this
time of year, as Hanukah season descen
ds upon us, Israel is overflowing with that uniquely Jewish version,
the sufgania.

Sufganiot (that’s the plural) are a
very simple but tasty version of the classic donut. Start with fried dough,
don’t even bother digging a hole, then inject jelly or caramel (my preference)
directly into the middle. Finish off by coating the creation with plenty of
powdered sugar.

Sufganiot season starts earlier every
year, in some cases kicking off just after Sukkot in October. By December, they
are ubiquitous. At my eleven year-old daughter Merav’s class Hanukah party, I
watched in awe as a large white van from a local bakery drove up to the sch
ool gates, opened its doors and revealed platter upon platter of white frosted
mass-produced tempting and scrumptious sufganiot.

There are sufganiot in the kitchens at
work, sufganiot at kiddush in shul, and sufganiot at the checkout counter of
every supermarket from here to

All of this reminds me of when our family was in the North America two summers ago and I became obsessed with finding
the ultimate donut:

A Krispy

I had heard that this chain serving hot
and fresh donuts had taken the region by storm and was even trading on the
stock market (look it up

I had also heard their donuts were to
die for. And I had never had one.

So the running theme of the summer was Dad’s
obsession with finding that illusive Krispy Kreme. But on highways from
Toronto to Cleveland to Chicago, our holy grail eluded us. It wasn’t until I was out
shopping late one night, in a forlorn suburban mall in the middle of nowhere,
that I chanced upon a freestanding Krispy Kreme franchise, beckoning to me from
the middle of the nearly-empty parking lot.

Apparently, the big deal about Krispy
Kreme is that when the sign outside is lit, that means hot donuts are rolling
off the assembly line that’s a prominent feature in every store.

The sign was lit.

I approached the store and, through the
windows, I could see hundre
ds of just-baked lightly browned donuts rolling out of
the ovens, then floating down a river of boiling oil before being tenderly flipped
and arriving at the end of their journey: an earnest Krispy Kreme employee
offering free samples to us, the lucky consumers who had timed our arrival just

I sampled. I smiled.

Maybe it was because it was hot. Or
because I had waited so long for this moment. But I declared to my fellow
consumers, and maybe to God herself, that these were the absolute best donuts I
had ever tasted.

I proceeded to buy a couple dozen for
my wife Jody and the ki

As much as I fawned over the Krispy
Kremes last summer, I still have a special spot in my heart for the Krispy's
more humble Israeli cousin. I think it must be the scarcity: you just can’t run
out to get a hot sufgania in the middle of July. You won’t find one. You really
have to wait for Hanukah to come near.

Which gives me an idea: why not create
a year-round sufgania phenomenon. We’d have to modify the formula a bit. Turn
it more into a full meal. And stuff the sufgania with more than jelly

How about spinach, broccoli and
zucchini? Creating something more like a quiche.

Or fill it with chopped meat or
schwarma or chicken schnitzel. We could replace the tired boring pita and the
no-longer-trendy baguette with the hottest new trend: the fried dough sandwich!

From Beersheva to Binyamina,, this could
be all the rage. Think of the entrepreneurship. The satisfied customers. The

Shuki’s Falafel, move over. Here comes
Brian’s Donut Quiche!

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