Alan and the Soofganiyot of Doom

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

We are deep into the heart of Channukah (the Jewish holiday of lights), which began Friday night and lasts 8 days.  As one of our offices resident Jews, I am often approached by gentiles in our office, as to what the proper etiquette is regarding all-things-Jewish.

Recently, a number of people have approached me, as they were invited, over the weekend, to attend Channukah parties... and they wondered "should I bring something"... and if I should bring something... was there a traditional food that they could bring.

Well, the truth of the matter is, there really isn't a truly traditional "Channukah Food" to bring... but there are a couple of items that come mighty close.

A quick explanation of Channukah

Channukah is a minor holiday, commemorating the reclaiming of the Temple in Jerusalem from the Romans.  When the temple was regained, they went into the sanctuary and found they only had enough oil to light the "eternal light" (one of the holiest of holy things in the temple) and it likely wasn't enough for even one night.

They sent runners off into the countryside to try to get pure oil (not just any oil would do) to keep the flame going.  It took 8 nights for the runners to return with the proper oil... and miracle of miracles... the eternal light burned all 8 of those nights... on only a dropful of oil.  A miracle, right?

explanation over... you can wake up now.

So... you can see that the holiday of Channukah rotates around "oil" as it's central thought... so we look for foods cooked in oil.

Two foods that have become associated with Channukah are "Latkes" (LOT- kuhs)... potato pancakes, fried with oil... very popular and often served with applesauce and/or sour cream.  And a more modern, more Israeli Channukah food, is Soofganiyot.   (okay, we'll say it slowly... say it with me... SOOF-GAN-EEE-OT!)....

Soofganiot is a Hebrew word for "doughnuts"... and Soofganiot are made of a yeast bread, fried in oil, (and typically filled with fruit filling).

Now... if invited to a Channukah celebration... if you bring either of these items... you'll be considered a Channukah Maven (expert), and a welcome guest.  Please note, if the hosts "keep kosher" (Jewish dietary laws), make sure that any Soofganiyot that you might buy are marked KOSHER, not Kosher-style.

Oh... and what's up with the "Soofganiyot of Doom", from the headline???  These things are loaded with fat and cholesterol!!!  OY VAY, I'm DOOMED!

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email:

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate


But we all know that if it is fried it usually taste great.  Of course some things can be over done like fried bacon and that Louisiana specialty fried pickles.

Dec 14, 2009 04:24 AM #1
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

... and there you go.  Of course, Larry, as you might have guessed.... "deep fried bacon" would NOT be considered a good gift to a Jewish household.

Dec 14, 2009 04:35 AM #2
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

 Hi Alan,

I had the pleasure of trying Latkes and Soofganiyot and they are delicious but probably not on everyone's diet! I appreciate the lesson and learned something new today! Always the goal!


Dec 14, 2009 06:05 AM #3
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Alan:  Thanks for the Channukah lesson.  It was very interesting ... and something that someone not of your faith might be a little squeamish about asking.  In this day of politically correct ... it's sometimes hard to broach some subjects as you fear you might offend.  Now that I'm a bit more enlightened, I feel much better ...

Enjoy your faith ... your celebration ... and the food!!! 


Dec 14, 2009 06:37 AM #4
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Dorie - they're certainly not things the body can abide eating daily.

Gene - exactly why I thought I'd post them here.

Dec 14, 2009 07:38 AM #5
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

What about the Manishevitz?

Dec 14, 2009 12:13 PM #6
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Jane - that stuff is gross... we've come a long way baby.

Dec 14, 2009 12:29 PM #7
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


A very nice explanation and a great lesson in Channukah etiquette.


Dec 14, 2009 02:24 PM #8
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Alan - thank you for the explanation and the foods too! Yum Yum  Hope you have a great family celebration.

Dec 14, 2009 03:40 PM #9
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Alan, Happy Channukah and I hope your flame never burns out, because I love your blog!

Dec 14, 2009 09:50 PM #10
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Richard - consider it a public service announcement.

Lise - thank you... we will.

Caren - aww.. my own personal fan club.

Dec 14, 2009 11:36 PM #11
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Alan May

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