There’s always truth in comedy. This is evidenced in The Simpsons. America’s most captivating fat-dad might be a lazy dumbass but he does show proper reverence for the simpler things in life–perhaps none more so than today’s great thing. We can all take a lesson from Homer Simpson and rekindle our love affair with the great, the mighty, the hooptacular, the donut. (Or doughnut)
There’s a lot of ground to cover when discussing donuts. But I think I need to start with some regional differences. Donuts taste different over here in the UK than they did back home. I think it’s mostly because they don’t really market my favorite type of donut much over here. I like heavy cake-y ring donuts. (Not the puffy airy style ring donuts.) Do you know what I mean? There’s definitely a difference. Please, allow me to show you pictorially.
There. Does that make sense? The style up above is seen MUCH more frequently over here. It’s a rare and beautiful moment to find a good old fried-cake-ring here in Manchester. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against the donut in the first picture. But, if given the choice, I’m going to go cake donut. I suppose it’s more of a North Atlantic and Great Lake region of America sort of thing as even the Krispy Kreme franchise of the American South specializes a bit more in the airy and puffy donut on the left.
Donuts have a bit of a convoluted history with a few different folks claiming credit for the hole-in-the-middle-style-fried-cake that we know and love as the ‘donut’. All sorts of countries CLAIM credit for them. But, most people agree that this fatty delight, in its current popularized form at least, is undoubtedly American through and through. Ownership of one of the world’s least healthy food belonging to America? Who knew….France? Germany? You can try to outlard us, but you’ll never win. Bwahahaha!
Though, I will give credit where credit is due. I did consume a magnificent beignet in France when I visited Paris.
Finding the best donut in your town is a noble mission that every citizen of every nation should undertake. It also gives you an excuse to eat a different donut perhaps every day of the week. I found a pretty thorough rundown of donut shops in NYC here: Good Eats
One of my favorite NYC snacking haunts, The Doughnut Plant, gets a mention here. Whenever I’m in town I make a pilgrimage to the lower east side, where it lives, and get the chocolate blackout donut and the tres leches as well. I would like to live here…
Whilst on Doughnut Plant’s homepage, I just saw an ad for a new Broadway play called Superior Doughnuts by Tony Letts. It takes place in a doughnut shop in Chicago. Doughnuts on sale during intermission! Mmmmm….high art…..
Sorry, I just blanked out there thinking about donuts.
At any rate, it’s true in New York and I think it holds true elsewhere…I find the best donuts aren’t out of the chain outlets but the local American bakeries. (Nothing against the big chains but I don’t think they always represent the best that we, as fatasses, can produce.) In Erie, we have Mighty Fine and Jack Frost. We were mostly a Mighty Fine clan and a visit to the shop after Sunday mass was a family mandate.
If I could choose five donuts from Mighty Fine right now (and NO I wouldn’t eat them all at once…I’m not that fat…I’d savor them like Gollum cherishes the ring in Lord of the Rings), I’d choose the following, in order of preference:
5. A Chocolate frosted cream filled: Why is this magnificent power-house of a donut number five? Because I’m getting on in years now and my teeth get a bit sensitive from time to time. After a few bites, my molars on the right hand side would be singing in pain. Still, I’d want those few sickly bites.
4. Plain fried-cake: Back to basics. Also, would take the edge off of the #5 pick.
3. Powdered sugar: For whatever reason, maybe the fluffy sugar dusting helps preserve them, these donuts always feel the softest and warmest. Word to the wise, don’t eat this variety too quickly or you risk inhaling the powdered sugar and experiencing a bit of a choking fit. That would be the worst obituary ever…choked to death on a sugared donut.
2. Maple glazed: A bit of tree blood flavoring. Yum.
1. Chocolate cake with glaze: Please note, this is not a chocolate frosted ring. It’s actually chocolate cake dough. After frying, it’s glazed. So beautiful.
I wish I had more time to go on about donuts. I haven’t even cracked open the issue of donut holes yet. I mean, how awesome are they? It’s like you don’t ever have to make up your mind about what donut you want. Plus, it’s more hygienic than just taking bites out of each donut in the box.
We’ll close where we began. Enjoy this classic clip from The Simpsons…