“Abu Dhabi” doughnut a Hanukkah hit in Israel

Jerusalem (Reuters) – Customers are lining up at a Jerusalem bakery-cafe for the “Abu Dhabi” doughnut, a date-flavoured confectionery inspired by Israel’s new relations with the United Arab Emirates.

Doughnuts, called “sufganiyot” in Hebrew, are a popular fare in Israel during the current holiday of Hanukkah, in which Jews traditionally eat deep-fried delicacies.

This year, pastry chefs Itzik and Keren Kadosh put a new twist on the treat.

At their Cafe Kadosh, they devised the Abu Dhabi doughnut, filled with cream made from dates shipped by the UAE’s Jewish community, with a nougat crown topped with an edible gold leaf. It sells for 22 shekels ($6.76), compared with 18 shekels ($5.50) for a regular doughnut.

The new product, Itzik Kadosh said on Sunday, was a way “to appreciate the peace process” upon which Israel and the UAE have embarked.

Three months ago, Israel and the UAE signed a U.S.-brokered deal to normalise relations, an alliance partly fuelled by common concerns about regional powerhouse Iran.

Tali Pinto, a customer from Tel Aviv, said there was something particularly sweet in tasting a doughnut with ingredients on “special delivery” from the Gulf.

“We are very happy to have these good relationships slowly happening with different countries, and also with Abu Dhabi,” she said, referring to recent diplomatic breakthroughs with other Muslim nations such as Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.