Nov. 28, 2013 is a date sure to go down in food history. Why is this night different from all other nights? For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving, the ultimate American feast day, falls on the same day as the first night of Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish commemoration of light, a holiday convergence that's been dubbed Thanksgivukkah. To celebrate this rare union, Zucker Bakery in New York City has concocted a line of seasonal treats that combine a traditional Hanukkah doughnut with Turkey Day staples.
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“Everybody started talking about that it's all happening on the same day,” Zohar Zohar, co-owner of the bakery in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood, tells Yahoo Shine. “It's never happened before, and we were thinking, how can we combine the two?”
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The bakery came up with multiple ways, actually. Starting Saturday, Thanksgivukkah revelers can pick up four versions of the specialty doughnuts, including a spiced pumpkin version stuffed with either turkey and gravy or turkey and cranberry sauce ($5); a sweet potato doughnut with toasted marshmallow cream filling ($4); and a jelly doughnut ($3.50). The twist on that one? The jelly is replaced with cranberry sauce.
As for the process, Zohar explains, "The way we make doughnuts is different — no hole in the center it looks like a bun. We stuff them before we deep-fry them." Sadly, that means there are no doughnut holes.
I had the pre-holiday honor of sampling them all, and here's the scoop: The turkey-stuffed versions taste kind of like a hoagie made with leftover Turkey Day ingredients, though I could have lived without the powdered sugar garnish. The sugar worked better on the cranberry-sauce version, however. The sweet potato with toasted marshmallow cream was definitely my favorite and tasted more like a dessert than the others, but it still wasn't overly sweet.
"At first I thought it was a gimmick, and now I'm going to come back and order them for the holidays. They're amazing," bakery customer Jac Gares tells Yahoo Shine. Nicole Goodkind, who tried the sweet potato version, wasn't as impressed. "It's good, but it's no Cronut. Doesn't blow me away."
Zucker Bakery isn’t alone in prepping for the once-in-a-lifetime combo holiday — Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah won't fall on the same day again for another 77,798 years. Dog Haus, a California hot dog chain, is selling a Thanksgivukkah dog that consists of a smoked-turkey sausage mixed with brown-sugared sweet potatoes and whiskey-soaked cranberries, then topped with Tater Tot-esque fried potatoes (meant to play the role of latkes) and drizzled with an apple-raspberry compote. And people are getting in on the act on Pinterest too. A Thanksgivukkah board is chock full of recipe ideas, including turkey stuffing made with challah bread and a pumpkin-custard version of kugel, the traditional Jewish noodle dish. For a centerpiece, consider a Menurkey and wear your “Days of Light, Liberty & Latkes” T-shirt to feast in.
Happy holidays, and, of course, happy eating.