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Preparing for Hanukkah 2021: Our annual sufganiya taste-test comparison

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We are traditionalists, so we’ve always had a family rule of not eating sufganiyot before “Hanukkah proper.” Our kids hide jelly-smeared faces from each other after inhaling them in secret at class parties. We all wink/wink/nudge/nudge each other, but the real start of Hanukkah for us is marked by the sufganiyot tour.

We found out this year that Marzipan apparently maintains the same dogma, since we had to break our rules and go early, and found Marzipan’s shelves full of their standard (yet delish) rugelach, with no powdered sugar in sight.

While it’s a massive bummer to miss them in our review this year, we award major respect to Marzipan for refusing to bend to the “sufganiyot right after Sukkot” trend, which smacks of Santa splashed all over the mall the morning after Halloween.

I figured, years ago, that as my kids got older, our family schedule would settle down. Well, yes and no. Although my bigs are old enough to get to activities on their bikes, my husband and I are now freer to travel independently, so we have to cater to each other. Since Hanukkah week was slammed for all of us, and we do have a habit of cultivating flexibility (we move birthdays, and have even been known to move Thanksgiving, to ensure all interested parties can attend and enjoy), we figured — better to have sufganiyot early than no sufganiyot at all.

As sufganiya snobs, we rarely give vendors a second chance. If our introduction to them is a big fat fail (remember Mr. Donut?) then we promptly fill their spot the following year. If a vendor consistently produces impressive offerings, even without taking home a “winner” title, we’ll return unless they offer us disappointing doughnuts two years in a row (Hello, Brooklyn Bakery.)

Then they get cut. We have to maintain standards, man.

That said, our post-coronavirus (are we post yet?) world has fostered second careers, adaptability, and a worldwide rearrangement of priorities. So, in an unprecedented move, we gave two previous contestants — Herby’s and Roladin — a second look.

To avoid the risk of being like one of those recipes that starts with: GIF courtesy of Tenor.com

I’ll go ahead and give you the goods: Advertisement


Roladin bakery box, photo taken by author

We tried Roladin back in 2015, and aizeh busha (what an embarrassment!) on them. Our demanding schedule dictates that every trip into Jerusalem accomplishes a number of tasks, so we had to stop in Talpiyot (an industrial and commerce-based district) to do mundane things before our tour. It just so happened that we passed by Roladin, and since we were pre-Hanukkah and the kids hadn’t even had clandestine doughnuts in school yet, they begged. Thus, Roladin should thank the fates, since they got a second chance. Roladin sufganiyot poster, photo taken by author

While we were eager to sink our chaste tastebuds into their Royal Truffe as a celebratory start, they didn’t have it, even though it was on their poster, which outraged my justice-obsessed 11-year-old. Roladin’s Royal Truffe, photo taken by author

Instead, we........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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