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The Donut

Donuts for Hanukkah? The Festival of Lights is more than latkes

in Nonfiction by

The donuts-for-Chanukah thing caught me by surprise, and now, having read Michael Krondl’s The Donut: History, Recipes, and More from Boston to Berlin, I understand why. When I was growing up, nobody in my Ashkenazi Jewish family ever mentioned Chanukah donuts. Potato latkes, yes—fried in oil to recall the time when the victorious Maccabees rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE; according to the story, the meager supply of oil there lasted for eight days, until more could be procured. But donuts for Chanukah? Nobody in my family knew from that. Then, some years ago, I noticed people talking about sufganiyot, donuts fried in oil—for Chanukah! I wondered how I had missed this tradition. But Krondl’s book explains that…

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