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The ‘SufganiKing’ Is Burger King’s Meaty, Sugary, Deep-Fried Monstrosity

Burger King Israel gets festive with its hamburger-donut sandwich, for adventurous folks who enjoy a bit of sweetness with their pain and suffering. And we’re kinda diggin’ it.

Marjorie Ingall
December 06, 2016
The "SuganiKing," Burger King's Sandwich, Facebook
The "SuganiKing," Burger King's Sandwich, Facebook

As if we needed yet more evidence that we are living in the end times, Burger King in Israel has produced a hamburger-jelly-donut hybrid.

The Hebrew word for donut is “sufgania,” and it is a traditional Hanukkah foodstuff. (Why? Because it is fried in oil, and whether or not the hermaneutically potent tiny vial of oil of Maccabean revolt fame is a miracle, fried foods are DEFINITELY a miracle. Fight me.)

The headline reads, “SufganiKing.” The tagline is “hamburger in a donut, only for Hanukkah.” I discovered this monstrosity on Twitter, after researcher Gidon Shaviv tweeted this picture with the dry commentary “l’hiyot am chofshi b’artzenu,” which means “to be a free people in our country,” which is a line from Ha’Tikvah, the Israeli national anthem… as well as a commentary on this pinnacle of Israeli culinary achievement—and also, one must assume, an observation about the freedom of human beings to eat things that are vile. Here at Tablet, work stopped for five minutes while we all pondered whether that festive red swirl atop the doughnut was ketchup or jelly. (It’s ketchup.)

Burger King did not come up with this innovation, though I presume the zingy name “SufganiKing” is all theirs, and I’m lovin’ it. In America, a burger between two Krispy Kremes has been a staple for over a decade, because we are the greatest country on Earth (we’re not? fine, have it your way). Some folks call this gustatory wonder a Luther Burger, after singer Luther Vandross, who purportedly loved it in cheeseburger-donut form. The Luther has been on the menu at Mulligan’s in Decatur, GA since 2005.

The less-fabulously-named “Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger” made its inaugural appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2010. (It cost $5, and for an extra buck you can top it with chocolate covered bacon.) I have not tasted this wonder myself—sometimes keeping kosher really does have its rewards—but those who have describe it as “savory burger meets sweet crunchy glaze.” I suppose if you are a fan of that other Wisconsin fave, kettle corn (which is also both sweet and salty, and repulsive unto me) you might enjoy it?

But back to Burger King Israel’s version: I have an idea to make it even better/worse. Stick a latke in there, right next to the burger, nestled next to the hot sugary bun. You will truly be celebrating the miracle of the oil, the glories of the season, and the blessings and curses of globalization, all at once.

Marjorie Ingall is a former columnist for Tablet, the author of Mamaleh Knows Best, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.

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