The Sufganiking, a special sufganiya burger for Hanukka, at a Burger King restaurant in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: ELIYAHU KAMISHER)
“I am the king!” one little boy, wearing a paper crown, yelled outside the Tel Aviv Burger King on Monday. Like many others, he had come to try to the “SufganiKing” a Hanukka doughnut-burger mashup available until January 1.
According to advertisements, the Sufgani- King would comprise two fluffy-looking sufganyiot (jelly doughnuts) buns filled with ketchup instead of jelly, topped with powdered sugar and accompanied by crisp green lettuce, chargrilled beef and succulent tomatoes.
But the cashier’s ambivalence to the burger did not bode well. “I haven’t tasted it,” he said, “but a lot of people are ordering it.”
Doughnuts are ubiquitous during Hanukka in Israel.
Corner shops and bakeries fill up with the oily pastry, but this year Health Minister Yaakov Litzman urged Israelis to cut down on the calorie- rich treats, part of his larger anti-junk food campaign.
Though Burger King employees could not provide the exact calorie count for the SufganiKing, it’s safe to say Litzman would be unlikely to approve.
After a 10-minute wait, the NIS 14.90 burger arrived, wrapped up like a Hanukka present waiting to be opened. But sometimes the present with the prettiest wrapping conceals the worst gift, and the SufganiKing may be an example.
Translucent red tomato and limp shreds of palegreen iceberg lettuce slathered with a hefty amount of mayonnaise were accompanied by the same gray Burger King beef this reporter remembers eating as kid.
In early December, Burger King Israel CEO Steve Ben-Shimol extolled the creation as a inevitable matching of two popular Israeli foods.
“We’re proud to be able to end 2016 on a creative, festive note,” he told Ynet.
The main show, the doughnut “buns,” are the highlight of the hybrid.
The two deep-fried puffy dough balls are cut in half in place of the normal sesame bun, but are devoid of filling. This may have been for the better, because the copious amounts of mayonnaise and ketchup already on the burger made a slippery mouthful.
“You can taste the sufganiya, but there’s no ketchup in the bun and no powdered sugar,” said one slightly disappointed customer, who had just finished his SufganiKing, declaring it “overhyped.”
Nevertheless, the kids and teenagers in the restaurant seemed largely content with the hybrid burger, except for 14-year-old Pelek, who proclaimed: “It needs more sugar and more ketchup.”