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The Surprising Connection Between a Doughnut and a Sponge: A Delicious Journey Through Language and

Have you ever wondered what the connection is between a סופגנייה (sufganiyah) and the first-ever sponge? Apart from the fact that we've been obsessively in love with both for years.

Here are five surprising facts that will shed some light (and oil) on the word סופגנייה:


1️⃣ Spongy Sufganiyah – The Maccabees may have defeated the Greeks (just like the sponge from the Golan Heights beat the Rishon sponge in "Shashtus"), but did you know that the word סופגנייה originates from Greek? It evolved from the word 'spongos', meaning 'sponge'! Incidentally, this is also where the word ספונג'ה, through the medium of Ladino, comes from.


2️⃣Suganiyah ith jam or chocolate? The word 'סופגנית' (sufganit) was coined by David Yellin, based on the word 'סופגנין' (sufganin, plural) found in the Talmud. The original sufganin were airy, apple-like baked goods, similar to a sponge, but in medieval Hebrew, there were sufganin fried in oil, probably quite similar to our modern sufganiyot.


3️⃣ Sufganit and not Sufganiyah? The singular form of sufganiyot is סֻפְגָּנִית (sufganit), as it appears in the dictionaries of the Hebrew Language Academy. However, in common speech, the accepted form is סֻפְגָּנִיָּה (sufganiyah) with the -yah suffix, similar to other foods that have adopted the -iyah suffix: 'עוגית' (cookie) became 'עוגייה' (ugiyah), 'נקניקית' (sausage) to 'נקניקייה' (naknikiyah), and 'לחמנית' (bun) to 'לחמנייה' (lachmaniyah).


4️⃣ Sfinj or Sufganiyah? Know that it's no coincidence that on Hanukkah, we eat both sfinge and sufganiyot! The word sfinge also rolled into Arabic from the Greek word spongos.


5️⃣ Stuffed Sufganiyah with Pistachio Cream: Whether it's ממולָאָה (stuffed) or ממולֵאת (filled), the main thing is that it's packed with lots of cream.


Enjoy this delightful exploration of language, history, and of course, delicious treats!

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