December 20, 2011, Updated July 13, 2015

An estimated 24 million filled donuts (sufganiyot in Hebrew) are sold in Israel each Hannukah season. That adds up to $13 million in sales and 10.8 billion calories, at an average 450 per fried treat – depending on the filling and topping.

Roladin donuts

Donuts on sale in Jerusalem.

Why donuts? They symbolize the miracle of the small cruse of olive oil that lasted eight days in the rededicated Temple menorah in 165 BCE. Says Kobi Hakak, owner of Roladin Bakery & Café: “It’s crazy; we sell thousands every day.”

For those who’d rather avoid all that oil, some patisseries offer baked sufganiyot.

Music performed by Shalhevet Orchestra. Musical director: Gilad Potolsky. Kislev 5772 – December 2011.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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