Celebrating the Holidays in New Orleans is always a wonderful treat. Even though the city is traditionally a very heavily populated Catholic and Christian city, New Orleans is a melting pot with many residents celebrating a wide variety of celebrations and religions.
New Orleans has a large Jewish population, and even though that is not my religion, one of my favorite things to do is explore other cultures, religions, and traditions.
Let me introduce you to sufganiyot – also knows as an Israeli doughnut, Hanukkah doughnut, or the best jelly doughnut you have ever tasted.
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A History of Sufganiyot
Sufganiyot, singular Sufganiyah, is a delicious round jelly doughnut originating from Israel to celebrate the festival of Hanukkah. Traditionally, Sufganiyot is deep-fried in oil – to represent the miracle of Hannukah – and filled with jelly, jam, or custard and topped with a layer of powdered sugar.
The word Sufganiyot can be traced to the Greek word for spongy or fried and the Arabic word for a smaller deep-fried doughnut.
History tells us that the Sufganiyot was born in 1485, in a cookbook called Kuchenmeister – Mastery of the Kitchen – a cookbook printed on Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press!
The original Sufganiyot, much like the ones found today, did not have a hole in the middle like traditional doughnuts but had a small pocket to sandwich jelly or jam in the middle.
The Sufganiyot became a revolutionary, expensive treat because sugar was costly, and many doughnuts were filled with savory, not sweet, treats.
In the 1500s, the price of sugar went down, and Kuchenmeister was translated into Polish – two very pivotal moments for the Sufganiyot. By the 1600s, jelly doughnuts were making their way through Poland to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and other special traditions.
Anywhere the Jewish people immigrated to, the love of Sufganiyot came.
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The Sufganiyot has become so popular that 80 percent of Israelis consume at least one doughnut during the eight-day holiday. You can even order Sufganiyot online and have them delivered to your house.
Prices for the tasty treat range from $1-$4 across America and seem to be consistent here in New Orleans.
Sufganiyot used to come only with strawberry jam or custard; many bakeries across the globe offer them in a variety of flavors.
Throughout the years, as the world becomes more health-conscious, Sufganiyots have gotten smaller. I guess they thought eating everything fried in oil for eight days impacted cholesterol or something.
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Sufganiyot In New Orleans
Since Sufganiyot is a seasonal treat, I had a whirlwind week of bouncing around different bakeries and businesses trying the best Sufganiyot for my family to try.
While searching on the internet, it was very hit or miss to find which restaurants would have the treats. After asking around, I compiled a pretty decent list of places to get yourself a few Sufganiyot to go.
Below you will find all the delicious bakeries, businesses, and restaurants that I’ve tasted Sufganiyot in and around New Orleans. This blog post was written in 2020, and all restaurants followed incredible precautions. When new restaurants, bakeries, or businesses sell Sufganiyot I will make sure to update and add them to the list as I try them.
Hanukkah’s celebration is from Thursday, December 10- Friday, December 18, 2020, and Sunday, November 28 – Monday, December 6, 2021.
3624 Dauphine St. Bywater, New Orleans
Sufganiyot price $2
These Sufganiyot set the bar because they were the first ones the family tasted. These Sufganiyot are large and covered with powdered sugar. The first bite tastes like a delicious beignet, and then the second bite is filled with strawberry jelly!
At only $2 a Sufganiyah are a real treat! Grab a coffee or a bagel and lox on a Friday, and have yourself a full breakfast that will not break the bank.
Sufganiyot Price $12 for 3 + $5 delivery fee for certain areas
If running around to different bakeries to try Sufganiyot is not your cup of tea, you can have Compagnon Bakery drop them off at your front door!
At the time of this writing, delivery is from 8-12 pm on Friday and Saturdays. There is a small fee if you live in some regions of the Greater New Orleans Area, and you cannot pick your delivery time.
Sufganiyot price $3
Gracious Bakeries Sufganiyot are a little different than some of the treats on this list. This bakery uses raspberry filling and granulated sugar on top of the donuts.
With three different locations in New Orleans, make sure you grab a Sufganiyot before they sell out!
Kosher Cajun NY Deli & Grocery
3519 Severn Ave
Sufganiyot price $1.59
Each year Kosher Cajun NY Deli and Grocery gets a few orders delivered straight from New York! You can find a variety of Sufganiyot here from jelly to custards.
When we visited, the Deli had Bavarian cream, caramel cream, and chocolate custard available. After dining on Jelly Sufganiyot for a few days, it was a nice change to try some of the traditional custard-filled Sufganiyot.
At $1.59 a Sufganiyot, these are the most cost-effective Sufganiyot in the city.
Sufganiyot in New Orleans
Even though this list is short, it is always growing, what are some of your favorite places to grab a Sufganiyot?