Where to Find Hanukkah Sufganiyot or Jelly Doughnuts in Atlanta – Eater Atlanta

Posted By on December 20, 2019

Food and food traditions have always played a significant role in many Jewish holidays and celebrations, and the eight days of Hanukkah are no exception. This year, Hanukkah begins at sunset on Sunday, December 22, and ends Monday, December 30. Atlanta-based Jewish educator and food and culture writer Robbie Medwed delves into the origin behind the fried foods served during Hanukkah, which includes where to find the delicious, deep-fried jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot in Atlanta.

The eight days of Hanukkah commemorate the victory of the Maccabees, a small group of Jewish rebels who fought (and won) against the Greek rulers in 164 B.C.E. after they conquered the land of Israel, outlawed all Jewish practices, and desecrated the holy Temple in Jerusalem.

What Hanukkah celebrates, at its core, is the victory of the few over the many, rabbi Ari Kaiman of Atlantas Congregation Shearith Israel in Morningside explains. The Jews beat the Greeks and restored the Temple, and when they did, they found just enough oil to light the menorah for one day, but it lasted for eight.

Jews light their own menorahs known in Hebrew as a Hanukkiyah or Hanukkah menorah each night of the holiday in remembrance of the light lasting for eight days. In honor of the miracle, Kaiman adds, we eat foods cooked in oil.

Most Americans are familiar with the latke (or potato pancake,) which was brought here by the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Made with grated potato, onions, and spices and then fried in oil, the latke has since crossed over into the mainstream and can be found in kosher and non-kosher restaurants throughout the country. But theres also one other familiar fried treat featured on the table during Hanukkah: doughnuts.

In the early 1920s, when immigration to the land of Israel was reaching its peak, immigrant Jews wanted to find a new food with which to honor Hanukkah. Enter the sufganiyah, the jelly-filled doughnut. Sufganiyah (sufganiyot; plural) takes inspiration from North African Jews who were making sfinge a fried dough dipped in orange honey syrup and savory-filled doughnuts made by Eastern European Jews. As a nod to their former oppressors, this new doughnut was named sufganiyah, which traces its roots back to the Greek word sufgan meaning fried or spongy.

During Hanukkah, as well as in the weeks leading up to the holiday, sufganiyot can be found in coffee shops and bakeries throughout Israel. Each year sees some intricately decorated doughnuts and new fillings ranging from dulce de leche and Nutella to chocolate and tropical fruit.

Over the past decade, sufganiyot have gained in popularity in the United States and can now be found regularly in bakeries and shops during Hanukkah. However, finding certified kosher sufganiyot in Atlanta can be tricky as there are only a few kosher restaurants and bakeries around town. Contrary to popular belief, kosher food isnt blessed by a rabbi. For food to be certified kosher, it has to be supervised by a qualified mashgiach or kashrut (kosher) supervisor during every step of its preparation.

What the certified kosher symbol means, at its base, is that the food item was supervised in its preparation, explains Meredith Schwartz, a former kosher personal chef in Atlanta. A trustworthy, knowledgeable person watched to make sure that every rule was followed while food was being prepared, whether it was in a restaurant or in a production facility, she continues. Theyre the person who guarantees there were no shortcuts taken along the way, that there was no mixing of meat and dairy, and certainly no pork or shellfish. Its not whether someone blessed it or that its inherently healthier, its just supervised from start to finish.

While sufganiyot are found at non-kosher establishments like Alons Bakery, Goldbergs Fine Foods, and The General Muir, try one of these five spots for some of Atlantas best kosher-certified sufganiyot.

Tip Top Kosher Market2211 Savoy Drive, Atlanta Located in a nondescript strip mall beside I-285 on the edge of Chamblee, Tip Top Kosher Market looks more like a convenience store than a grocery and restaurant. The market offers a huge selection of Israeli products and fresh pastries. Tip Tops traditional sufganiyot are flown in straight from Israel and should be ordered a day or two in advance. While picking up that sufganiyot order, grab a few other items like Israeli beer and snack foods as well as salads and some of Tip Tops incredible dairy products.

Sublime Doughnuts Briarcliff2566 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta Sublimes Toco Hills location is the only certified kosher outpost of the doughnut shop. Offerings here are decidedly untraditional, but thats part of what makes these doughnuts so popular. Try the butter toffee, the dulce de leche, or the salt and vinegar varieties to bring a little pizazz to a Hanukkah party. Pro tip: call at least 24 hours in advance and order enough alphabet-shaped doughnuts to spell out the more than ten different ways to translate the holidays name to English.

Kosher Gourmet2153 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta Kosher Gourmet is one of Atlantas longest running kosher butchers known for preparing its kosher-certified meats to order. Find fresh and frozen cuts of beef, lamb, chicken, and more here, in addition to kosher wine and kosher staple ingredients. The shop also features a deli counter with freshly made, piled-high sandwiches and traditional sufganiyot during Hanukkah. Make sure to call ahead to order doughnuts for Hanukkah here.

The Spicy Peach2887 North Druid Hills Road NE, Atlanta When Atlantas kosher cooks need hard-to-find, kosher ingredients, they often head to the Spicy Peach in the Toco Hill shopping center. Sufganiyot here should always be ordered in advance. The recently expanded kosher market includes high-end ingredients like kosher duck prosciutto, Spanish chorizo, and a wide variety of Asian products as well as sandwiches and a new soup and salad bar. Dont skip the gummy candies, and be sure to try the Israeli sweet and sour Doritos.

Krispy Kreme295 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta (also Riverdale, Woodstock, Buford, Cobb Pkwy)Atlantas Ponce location on the edge of Midtown is the only in-town, kosher-certified Krispy Kreme for the North Carolina-based doughnut brand. The Riverdale, Woodstock, Buford, and Cobb Parkway shop in Marietta are also certified kosher locations. These Krispy Kremes regularly feature the traditional, jelly-filled sufganiyot called glazed raspberry filled for purchase. For large orders, make sure to order in advance.

Robbie Medwed is an Atlanta-based educator and food and culture writer who teaches Jewish Bible, law, and history at the Epstein School in Sandy Springs. Medwed has a masters degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, where he lived for two years. His food writing has appeared in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the Jewish Food Experience, Grok Nation, and Eater Atlanta. He also runs cocktail website, KosherCocktail.com.

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Where to Find Hanukkah Sufganiyot or Jelly Doughnuts in Atlanta - Eater Atlanta

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