Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Like all old religions, Judaism is tradition heavy...

Channukah traditions, like most traditions in this faith, seem to be food-centric. Family and friends gather together, light candles for eight nights and then eat themselves silly on grease laden foods such as latkes and donuts. There are, of course other things eaten, but those are the star attractions.

Latkes, of course, are made at home. A quick and easy substitution could be any form of 'Tater Tot or McDonalds type hashbrowns. Donuts... well, the first year I was here Dunkin' Donuts had just opened and the gift to bring to a candle lighting party was a few dozen DD donuts, usually covered with hundreds and thousands. I think that the best soufganiot (the singular is soufgania, but who ever buys just one?) in Tel Aviv can be found at Roladin.

At the Ibn Gvirol branch they take over the covered patio and turn it into a little fry-shop. For eight days and nights the oil is hot and the donuts bob away, getting a little tan before being filled with all sorts of delights. This years 8 day wonderflavour is "Jamayica" (the Israeli pronunciation of Jamaica. It is a warm donut filled with dark chocolate/rum ganache, dipped in chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. Personally, I could live without the chocolate sauce and nuts - the ganache was already over the top - literally, it was oozing out the hole where it had been squeezed in... very generously.

Of course there are only so many latkes a person can eat before they start staring at television sets and leaning back into old sofas.

So tonight I had a different kind of greasy Channukah food...

This is an Israeli thin crust vegetarian pizza from a small chain called Big Mama's. It has an ok crust, a little dusty without enough char to add interest, a sweet tomato sauce, moderate amounts of annonymous cheese and 6 toppings. At this point you are supposed to count the toppings and then make a comment about how I can't count. But there really are six toppings... zucchini, onion, black olives, mushrooms, fried eggplant and... a scrambled egg spread around the very centre of the pizza and guaranteed to make the pointy end flop just before it gets to your mouth.

Traditional 6th night of Channukah food, or so they tell me...

And just in case you have not yet made your donation to the Menu of Hope III being organized by once again by Pim at Chez Pim and her stable of little helpers, this is just a reminder of the prize that I have put into the raffle.

The Jaffa MudPrize
(Prize Code EU30)

If you win the Jaffa MudPrize you will receive a 29cm handmade-in-Israel stoneware plate with your choice of either an elegant, contemplative nude or a loving father and daughter handpainted and glazed using non-toxic materials. This unique signed original (a genuine collectors item of the future) is dishwasher, microwave and oven safe, so you can bake a pie in it, serve from it or hang it on your wall.

And to go with it are a variety of exotic middle-eastern spice mixes, Persian dried lemons, string halvah, cooking roses, and one or two other little goodies that I have found and think you might enjoy.

For only $10 this great prize could be yours... shipped anywhere in the world (I'm even covering duty charges up to $50, which should pretty well cover everywhere in the universe - though I understand that I might not be able to afford Martian taxes...).

And if this doesn't float your boat, there are lots of other prizes available including some wines, books, tours, knives, catering, dinners at some of the most amazing restaurants around, goodies and gadgets... a plethora of playthings and all from giving away a little bit of the ready for a good cause.

So go ahead, make your day - donate now!


burekaboy — said...

ok, now i'm hungry AGAIN.

i completely forgot about the yearly special. that jamaican one sounds yummola. did you try it? (should i say, how many did you try??) lol, more like could you even get one?? pizza w/ 6 toppings. that's cool. how did u get the pic of the sufganiyot frying so close up?

yo! dunkin donuts?? are YOU KIDDING ME?!? that's right up there with Timbits. feh. double, triple feh.

and to end this, that picture of your hanukkiah is the coolest. love it. i want it. happy 6th. send pizza and soufganiot. i'll be waiting.

aja said...

Hey BB,
The line ups were not enormous 'cause I went on day 5, so people were starting to get soufganioted out. There were only about a dozen people on line... Jamaica's were ok - personally, I think they should make one that is filled half and half ganache and dulche de leche. The chocolate on top was too much of a good thing.

Hey, if you only get donuts once a year, then even dd or tim ho's start to look appealing as novelty items.

Big mama's delivers 8^)