Hanukkah delights

Published 2:24 PM ET, Fri December 7, 2012
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A young Israeli boy looks at a serving of fresh oil-fried and jam-filled doughnuts, known in Hebrew as "sufganiyot", served at one of the local bakeries in Kadima, central Israel, during Hanukkah. David Silverman/Getty Images
In Jewish tradition, it is customary to eat doughnuts and other foods fried in oil during the eight-day festival of Hanukkah.In this picture, a kosher bakery prepares doughnuts by injecting them with cream custard in the Ukranian port city of Odessa. A thriving Jewish community in the region ensures that there is plenty of demand for kosher foodstuffs. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
So popular are the doughnuts in Israel that Jewish-American chef Joan Nathan recalls the local marketplaces resembling a "pastry auction" around this time of year. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and is one of the most popular Jewish observances. YAHUDA RAIZNER/AFP/Getty Images
For some, Hanukkah is "the potato pancake holiday", where the mundane potato is given a massive makeover in form of latkes -- a fried potato cake that can be served with lots of goodies including goat cheese, tomatoes, herbs, or topped with smoked salmon and dill. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images
Nathan, who has won numerous awards for her cookbooks dedicated to Jewish cuisine, says that while she has added many different ingredients to her latke recipes -- including zucchini, beetroot, sweet potato, celery root, and apple-horseradish -- her favorite is still the simple potato. Courtesy Daniel Spils
Jewish bakers are busy with more than just doughnuts and latkes during this time of year. Here, traditional gingerbread hearts and Stars of David with Hebrew inscriptions in Latin letters on them hang at a stall at the annual Hanukkah market at the Berlin Jewish Museum. Sean Gallup/Getty Images