While the fall holidays come with their fair share of non-stop feasting, winter is full of sweets. Unlike most mass produced candies which are available year round, these Israeli treats have a season. As the autumn pomegranates, dates, peaches, and plums go out of season, oranges, persimmons, and jelly donuts come in!
... When the royal Hasmonean family overpowered and was victorious over [the Greeks], they searched and found only a single cruse of pure oil... enough to light the menorah for a single day.
A miracle occurred, and they lit the menorah with this oil for eight days.
On the following year, they established these [eight days] as days of festivity and praise and thanksgiving to G-d.
On Tuesday evening, December 20, we will light the first Chanuka candle and celebrate the miracle of the oil. It's not enough to just light candles to celebrate the miracles of the festival of lights, we must internalize the message with, you guessed it, FOOD! Foods fried in oil like potato pancakes ("latkes" in yiddish and "levitot" in Hebrew) and jelly donuts or "sufganiot" are traditionally eaten. But Sufganiot go on sale in every bakery on every street as soon as the High Holidays come to a close. Try just picking up some milk and pita bread with these delicious treats smiling back at you!
An Israeli treat that has nothing to do with Chanuka is "Crembo." I don't know why Crembo can't be eaten in the summer. It is not a warm food and has no seasonal ingredients, but it's tradition. When the winter rain comes, so does Crembo! Crembo is a dome of creamy marshmallow meringue sitting on top of a round biscuit cookie and covered with a thin shell of dairy-free chocolate. The fluffy creme comes in vanilla and mocha flavors. (Strauss brand mocha is my favorite.) There is even a song in the kids chant when it rains the first few times: Give me Crembo. If there's not enough, give me gum. (It rhymes in Hebrew.) Strauss exports Crembo to kosher grocery stores in the U.S. For some history of "Krembos" check out Wikipedia - Krembo.