Hanukkah starts next week, bringing with it the heavy (and heavenly) smell of fried potatoes in kitchens everywhere. When you think food for a menorah lighting, you probably think of latkes, which is fine. But there are other Hanukkah classics that don’t get nearly the love that potato pancakes do. Specifically, sufganiyot—jelly doughnuts. For those who haven’t yet gotten to enjoy a Hanukkah doughnut, or for those who have and had no idea why, here are a few things you didn’t know about how they got to be a holiday tradition.
1. They're oily, and that's a good thing.
There is a focus on foods fried in oil during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of oil burning for eight days in the biblical account of the Maccabees.