Israel is not like America. In America, donuts are available all year round. In Israel, donuts are mostly sold during the 6 weeks before Hanukkah and in that time, many bakeries compete with each other for the most over the top donut concoctions available. In that respect, the same spirit of innovation that fuels the explosion of startups in Israel, also fuels the creativity and technology that goes into making fried doughnut products.
Consequently, we thought it would be a great idea to buy all the donuts available and make my wife Ayo (Yoga instructor and chocoholic – http://www.ayo.yoga), and our Jewlicious intern Benji (c/o Aardvark Israel – https://aardvarkisrael.com/) eat them all and share with us their thoughts about which were best.
We hit the following shops for a good cross section of donuts. The conventional donuts were purchased from the Hava Bakery at the Mahane Yehudah shuk. I know there’s a bougie Hava Cafe on Jaffa road, but the vast majority of baked good stalls at the shuk belong to Hava and they sell the basic frosted sugar/jelly donuts as well as other varieties. Next we got some traditional Moroccan Sfinj donuts at Duvshanit – they have a cafe/bakery in Katamon and a stall at the market. We also got fancier donuts at the King George and Jaffa branch of the Ne’eman Bakery and the Agripas branch of English Cake. The final batch of donuts came from the Roladin bakery – we got donuts from both the branch at the Mamila Mall and the branch on Jaffa by the market.
This I felt was a good cross section of available donuts and the winner was… well, lets just say that they are all winners when served fresh out of the fryer! We are also using this video to let you know about our own upcoming donut extravaganza. We will be spending the second night of Hanukkah making traditional Moroccan Sfinj donuts for everybody! It’s our third annual Sfinjapalooza and will include a tour of the neighborhood to look at Hanukkiahs and a sfinj making workshop – more details at the Sfinjapalooza Facebook event page – This event was made possible through the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s Grassroots Events program! See ya there!!