Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mac Donuts- wholesaling homemade!

The Wednesday Nut

As a consummate food lover, I'm always intrigued by what I will find around each new corner. And, since work has brought me in and out of the Big Apple on a weekly basis as of late, those corners have been covered with food carts. To say I love food carts is to do neither the carts nor the word "love" justice. For me, food carts are much like and adult version of an ice cream truck, only I don't have to chase them nor do I have to ask anyone else for money.

Recently, I have noticed more and more of my favorite little street stops bulging with donuts and pastries of all shapes and sizes; largely because I now take the 5:00 am train in. Take my existing curiosity with food-cartage and add donuts to it and well, let's just say the whole office eagerly awaits my arrival.

Of course I can't start eating street donuts without finding out where they are from. Though I would love to believe the average street vendor rises at 2:00am and has a complete bakery back room some where hidden down under the coffee urns and rows of multi-colored juices, even I know that these nuts are likely the by product of some large scale production line. So, I asked. The first vendor informed me that he didn't make them but loaded up in the early AM at a company called Mac Donut. The second street vendor I asked said again, Mac Donut, as did the 3rd and fourth and so on. Of course, I had to find out who they were and where they came from...I just did.


I'm happy to report that, not only in sampling their products in person, but in reading about their business, Mac Donut is one wholesale company which this donut hunter is proud to highlight. Founded in 1992 in Astoria, NY the mission on their website says it all: "We intend to become the best donut company in the world by being unrivaled, unrelenting, unflappable, and simply unbeatable." Take it from me, in the world of wholesale street food, Mac Donut is definitely doing it right. With 20+ flavors of donuts, muffins and specialty pastries, stop by the next street vendor you see and ask them..."Where do you donuts come from?" There's a good chance it will be a Mac. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving - Donut style!!!

The Wednesday Nut

As though we needed another reason to celebrate this week, other than donuts being the best blob of dough ever invented; it's Thanksgiving. And, as we humans tend to wrap every holiday possible in all manner of food, why not bring donuts? Or in this case, Donut Pops. So, I searched high and low for a wonderful new way to celebrate this holiday of feasting donut style, and found this wonderful recipe from the folks at Cheeky Kitchen, taken from Bakerella, the masters of all things cake pop!

I'm looking forward to trying these myself and wish you all Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Donut Hole Pops














Ingredients:

FOR ALL THE DONUT POPS:

1 box plain donut holes
1 package of Candiquik chocolate flavored candy melt
15-20 long, thin wooden popscicle sticks

ALSO NEEDED FOR BASIC DONUT POPS:

1/5 cup chocolate sprinkles

ALSO NEEDED FOR THE TURKEY DONUT POPS:

2 tablespoons mini white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon blue or green flat, circular sprinkles
15-20 candy corns
15-20 red Jelly Belly jellybeans or red licorice candies

ALSO NEEDED FOR THE ACORN POPS:

5 pretzel sticks, broken into half-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Directions:


FOR BASIC DONUT POPS:

 For basic chocolate covered donut pops, melt the Candiquik according to package directions. Carefully press a wooden popscicle stick into the center of a donut hole, then roll it around gently until covered with chocolate coating. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off of the donut pop. Decorate immediately using any of the three techniques below.


TO MAKE THE BASIC POPS:

Follow the basic directions, coating the donut holes one at a time, and decorating them immediately, before the chocolate hardens. To decorate: a) Sprinkle lightly with choclate sprinkles. b)Stick donut pops into a block of styrofoam and allow time to cool & hardened.
Add 2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles






TO MAKE THE TURKEY DONUT POPS:

Follow the basic directions, coating the donut holes one at a time, and decorating them immediately, before the chocolate hardens. To decorate: a) press one candy corn into the center of the donut hole to make a 'beak,' b) gently place two mini white chocolate chips tip-side down for the eyes. c) Dip the tip of a jelly bean into the melted chocolate coating, then press it gently into place below the candy corns. Stick donut pop into a block of styrofoam until hardened. d) Once hardened, melt a tablespoon of white chocolate chips in a ziploc bag, snip off a very tiny part of the corner, and pipe a bit of melted chocolate onto the 'eyes' then quickly press a sprinkle atop to make the colored part of the eye. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.



TO MAKE THE ACORN POPS:

 Follow the basic directions, coating the donut holes one at a time, and decorating them immediately, before the chocolate hardens. To decorate: a) press a wooden popscicle stick into the center of the donut holes. b) dip only the top half of each donut, immediately coating them with chopped nuts and pressing a pretzel stick into the stop part of the donut. c) Stand donut pops upright on a piece of styrofoam. Allow chocolate coating to harden before serving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Donut Thief: Steeling a Donut could mean life in prison

The Tuesday Nut

From the archives of the weird, and in the case the "Donut", The Donut Directory is proud to bring you the latest in Donut crime, supporting why we need police to actively hover at our counters, sip brown liquid and chow down!  Not that stealing a donut should carry such a stiff penalty; I mean, who could really blame you from stealing one. But, more so it's the principle behind the act; robbing some unwitting family of their Sunday joy, or perhaps the last donut of the night which some Donut Hunter has traveled far and long for. 

In this particular story, from Todd C. Frankel, of the St. Louis Dispatch, 10/07/2007- a man did just that; steal a donut. The story that ensued from this simple theft though, is not one to be missed, and not one Farmington will soon forget.

I give you Donut Thief:

"FARMINGTON, MO. — Shoplifters at Country Mart tend to favor cold medicines and packaged meats. They used to steal cigarettes, too, until tobacco was moved behind the counter. But the doughnuts were never a target for thieves.
Country Mart's doughnuts — fried fresh daily in the store — sell for just 52 cents each. That is why the "shoplifters will be prosecuted" signs are displayed in aisle 4 with the pricey pain and allergy pills, and not in aisle 5 beside the glass doughnut case with its tiger tails, jelly-filleds and eclairs.
Then one man's sweet tooth got the better of him. He stole a doughnut. A single doughnut.

Authorities called it strong-arm robbery. The "doughnut man," as the suspect is now known, faces five to 15 years in prison for his crime. And Farmington, a town of 14,000 people about 70 miles south of St. Louis, has been buzzing about it ever since.

"That someone would take just a single doughnut, not something very expensive or extravagant, that's unique," supermarket assistant manager Gary Komar said, smiling.

Scott A. Masters, 41, is accused of shoplifting the pastry and pushing a store worker who tried to stop him. The worker was unhurt. But with that shove, his shoplifting turned into a strong-arm robbery. Masters, who appeared in court Friday, is stunned. The prosecutor shows no signs of backing down. In fact, because Masters has a prior record, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life.
Lanell Gibbs was there the day of the doughnut heist.
"That was a first," Gibbs, 68, said.
She has worked for 11 years as a cashier at Country Mart, a regional supermarket chain. Next to her register, she keeps a clipping from the local newspaper about the doughnut man's case. He was indicted just last month, although the theft took place in December. She likes to show the article to customers as she recounts the story.
It was about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The store was in a lull. Gibbs, who could see the doughnut case from her station, said she saw Masters slip the doughnut into the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.
She turned to a co-worker and said, "I saw him take a doughnut. Let's see if he pays for it."

They watched Masters as he strolled past the seven green checkout lanes and out a side door between the customer service desk and the pharmacy, passing under a giant "Country Mart Thanks You" sign.
Gibbs' co-worker followed Masters into the parking lot. The co-worker, a 54-year-old woman, demanded that Masters come inside, according to the police report. He offered to give the doughnut back. She declined and grabbed his arm. That is when Masters allegedly delivered "a backhanded punch to the chest" and took off running, police said.
"That made her mad," Gibbs recalled.

 

The woman, who was uninjured, jumped in her car and called police as she chased Masters. He was arrested minutes later. Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said the two incidents taken separately equaled two misdemeanors: shoplifting and minor third-degree assault. Together, they make for second-degree robbery, a class B felony, defined in state law as forcibly stealing property. The amount of force and the amount of property does not matter.

"It's not the doughnut," Baker said. "It's the assault."
Masters is a small man, wiry, about 5-foot-6, with short-cropped hair, a graying goatee and hound-dog eyes. He is a "frequent flier" at the St. Francois County detention center.

"Yeah, Scotty is well known," said Deputy Sheriff Dennis Smith, reviewing Masters' criminal history.

Masters, who lives in the nearby town of Park Hills, has been arrested more than a dozen times: for being drunk, for shoplifting, for missed court dates, for marijuana possession. He spent most of the 1990s and a stretch from 2000 to 2004 in state prison for the felonies of torching a car to collect insurance and possessing methamphetamine ingredients. In a jailhouse interview last week, Masters admitted he had taken the doughnut. Masters said he had been taking a break from his roofing job when he stopped into Country Mart. He was hungry. He fled the scene, but he said he did not lay a hand on the woman.
"Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That's impossible," Masters said, exasperated. "I've never had a violent crime in my life. And there's no way I would've pushed a woman over a doughnut."

After his arrest, he forgot all about the case. He assumed it had been dismissed. He spent the summer in jail on outstanding warrants. Just before he was to get out, he was indicted Sept. 14 in the doughnut case. His bail was set at $25,000 — well beyond his means. Masters briefly appeared in court Friday. His case was continued until next month. He is shaken by the possibility of a third felony conviction. A prosecutor could pursue an enhanced sentence. As a persistent offender, Masters could face a murderer's term.

"I can't believe this crap," Masters said.

A grand jury agreed with police on the strong-arm robbery charge. County Prosecutor Wendy Wexler Horn said that it was "way too early to know how it is going to play out" but that the charge seemed appropriate given the allegations. She was aware that some people seemed shocked by the case.
"People are missing the point," Horn said. "It is not about the doughnut."

But to many people here, it is all about the doughnut.

Still, for all the attention paid to the doughnut incident, one detail may never emerge: the kind of doughnut Masters stole.Country Mart stocks everything from simple glazed ring doughnuts to gooey butter squares to filled cream horns and danishes. But the police report makes no mention of the doughnut style. Gibbs said she could not recall it. Other workers, too, drew a blank. Even Masters, sitting in jail with only time to think, said he could not remember. It is a detail that seems lost to history.
And Masters never got a chance to enjoy that fateful doughnut. He said he threw it to the ground when he fled."
So, remember, if you ever commit a crime where a donut is involved, remember what kind it is, for God's sake eat it, and ....it's all about the donut!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Donuts From Around the World!

The Friday Nut

Here at The Donut Directory, we enjoy nothing more than well...donuts but, with our next big food holiday not far off, we decided to expand our view to a bit to include donuts of all forms. As a donut by any other name can also still be a donut, you may find that while traveling around the globe it is relatively easy to see that people of all cultures enjoy "fried dough" and "fried breads" of many kinds.

The best example and most comprehensive resource I have found to date, which catalogues these delightful cultural differences is the site run by OSO-ONO Foods, LLC, Marin County, CA. Not only do the folks at OSO-ONO produce some of the best dessert dough in the world, they have also compiled and extensive DONUT HISTORY  dating from B.C. up to 2003 when OSO-ONO began wholesale operations.

Therefore as we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration, don't forget, whether you indulge in Donuts, Bismarks, Bunuelo's, Churros, Malasadas, or Paczki...do-nut forget to bring some along. You'll be sure to make everyone smile, and you may even learn a little culture while your at it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Last Donut of The Night

The Friday Nut

Donuts have a sublime place in any society, because they are simple. It is that consistent simplicity that makes the donut so prone to humor in any culture. Combine that characteristic with the its visual aesthetic, throw in some filmmakers with a sharp eye for expression and cultural lore (cops and donuts), add the astute comedic timing of a skilled editor, and set that to the gripping beats of Hip Hop artist J.Dilla's (may he rest in peace) hit song and you have The Last Donut of The Night.

In celebration of J.Dilla's life and Album, Donuts, Stones Throw Records, hosted a video contest for his tracks. The Last Donut of The Night, entered Tuomas Vauhkonen and Jeremias Nieminen's, wone 1st prize! It is well deserved.



The film is rife with comedy and satire, but can also show corruption and political unrest as relative to the audience viewing it; all conveyed through people fighting over donuts.

Watch the donuts bouncing and rolling off the ground as though the thief has just released them from there cage, and decide for yourself. What would you do if these really were the Last Donuts of The Night?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday with Donuts!

The Friday Nut

The older I get, the more surprised I am at what happens on my birthday. Never being one to make a big deal out of my day, I'm very happy to be surrounded by some amazing friends who often do. Our loyal donut hunters Deb and Sara, who are both very dear to me, went to some special lengths this past Monday for the Donut Man. Sara, keeping me diverted at dinner and off track from what Deb was planning, and Deb working double time on the cake....which as you can guess involved Donuts. Not only involved donuts, but was constructed entirely of DONUTS! I had died and gone to heaven. The best part of this event was that Deb actually called our local Market Basket at 8:00am and inquired as to whether they could make a "Donut Cake" or not. The conversation went a little something like this:

8:00am 10/17/2011
Deb: "Yes, hi, I have special request for a friend. Can you make a cake out of donuts?"
Baker: "Well, I don't know. We've never done that."
Deb: "I understand that, but you do make your donuts on-sight correct?"
Baker: "Yes."
Deb: "Well, could you then just take a bunch of the dough and combine it into 1 big jelly donut or something  that we could decorate?"
Baker: (laughing) "Well, we could certainly try...why not?"
Deb: "Excellent, I'll check back around lunch time."
Baker: "Ok, no promises though."

12:00pm
Deb: "Ya hi, this is Deb the woman who called about the Donut Cake."
Baker: "Yes, hi Deb. We really tried, but unfortunately we could get it to come together like a cake."
Deb: "Blast!" "Thanks for trying. You do have donuts though right?"
Baker: "Yes, several varieties."
Deb: "Ok, I'll be there after work."

6:00pm
After which the mad dash ensued to Market Basket to 1) buy the donuts , 2) get home before me , 3) Assemble them into a cake (inject rum...yes rum) and 4) frost them into a concrete like mass of cake and alcohol which was amazing. All while Sara was distracting me with an elaborate ruse of Chinese food and Mai Tais...hmmm, it worked.

Not only am I thoroughly impressed by the team at the local Market Basket for actually trying to pull this off, but I am truly grateful to have people in my life who care enough to do something this meaningful for the Donut Man. 36 will be a Birthday to remember always. Thank you Deb and Sara.

Always appreciate the people and the little gestures in life...especially when a donut is involved.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gourmet Donuts, the name and the product!

The Friday Nut

Suffice to say it has been a very busy month for the Donut Man, but amongst traveling, rehearsing for a new play and the regular day to day, if there is one thing I can always make time for it's donuts! That being said all you donut fans are in for a barrage of new stories, pictures and shop reviews. Let's start with a newly discovered small local chain, Gourmet Donuts.

What's better on a crisp Fall day in New England than taking a drive down a new back road and exploring the country side? Finding out that the new back road your are traveling has a homemade donut shop on it. Like many independent shops that have discovered their product has generated a substantial local following, Gourmet has sprouted to 4 local locations concentrated just northwest of Boston in Fitchburg, Leominster, Townsend and Winchendon. The feel of the shop is just as you would expect from the name; gourmet. I stopped in on the Townsend location and the shop is just as the name suggests, clean cut lines, welcoming interior, with 40 + flavors of gourmet coffee, over 30 varieties of donuts (including holes and seasonal varieties) specialty pastries, and bagels.  

I sampled a jelly, pumpkin spice and a honey dip on this morning, and being that it was around 10:00am I would like to return on an earlier day to get them as fresh as possible. The only complaint I would have, and this is coming from someone who eats donuts almost directly out of the kettle regularly, is that this location does not make the donuts on site. My finely tuned "donut vision" could sense this as soon as I looked at the display case. The friendly young woman at the counter confirmed that they are produced in the Fitchburg location and then distributed amongst their shops. The donuts were still excellent, though the pumpkin spice was a tad bit dry, nothing a dunk in their delicious coffee could not cure. So, if you find yourself in the car enjoying the foliage and in need of your favorite deep fried dough-ball, have confidence that the folks at Gourmet won't let you down. As always, don't forget one for the Donut man.
hendon

Friday, October 7, 2011

Donut Toss, a game for the masses, a version for all

The Friday Nut

What could be more fun than grabbing a box of donuts, taking some cover and chucking them at people. Apparently, nothing, especially if you are part of Tennessee Technological University homecoming parade.
Their Facebook page touts the "The official Cookeville Homecoming Donut Toss" , where the mission is plain and simple: To toss donuts at people. Other than just provoking a good solid laugh from this donut hunter, I couldn't help be wonder how many other people out there would like to "throw" donuts around and haow many ways you could do it, let's take a look.


1) First off there's the actual game itself, in many different varieties, Donut Toss. This comes in versions for kids, down-loadable boardgames, or this "corn-hole" type game featured at the 2011 Donut Summit , I know, I know...I will give this it's own story soon.













2) Then of course we can't forget our furry friends, by providing them with a Suede Donut Toss toy, a  natural water buffalo leather toy created from the hide of domesticated water buffalo. I bet the buffalo never saw that one coming. 








3)For those of you into an old fashion adventure we have Donut Toss meets Scavenger Hunt. In this version you and a friend toss gigantic donuts (I need to know where to get these) between open windows of 2 buildings going up a floor at each successful toss.

What's needed?

"Materials: Donut, 3 feet in diameter. Two adjacent high rises with windows spaced approximately the same. Strong arms, strong back, umbrellas for pedestrians to protect themselves.

Optional: Gigantic donut holes, fritters, and bear claws may be used in place of the donut."

Okay, first off I don't even know where to get a donut that is 3 feet in diameter, but I want to :) And secondly, an umbrella, really...like that will save anyone from a 100lb mass of dough spiraling out of control toward the sidewalk. Anyone want to try it with me?



4) Donut Sports version: American Fatty-aitors - Donut Toss  , where, the Fatty-aitors attempt to gain points by catching as many donuts as possible. 

I would say, 'Only in America..." but do I even need to?


5) The denotative definition: courtousey of the Urban Dictionary , otherwise known as "Pastry Pitching"
"Throwing powdered doughnuts through your car windows at other moving vehicles. The most fun you'll ever have." as used in a sentence: Last night we went pastry pitching and got three cars to chase us!
The Donut Directory does not condone cruelty towards donuts.

The list can go on and on. Try your own Google search and see what you can find! We want to hear and see your best donut toss. Send them along and enjoy your Columbus Day weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PAULA'S DONUTS...another reason to visit Buffalo!

The Thursday Nut


As if a love of lake effect snow, Niagra Falls, and the Buffalo Sabres weren't enough reasons to visit the far reaches of Upstate NY, let me introduce you to Paula's Donut's, hand cut and fresh since 1996! As I haven't been to the shop in person as of yet, we can take first hand accounts from Paula's FacheBook page, which boasts almost 1700 likes, impressive!

I'm literally drooling as I sit at my desk and scroll through the images on Paula's page. They have over 50 different varieties, including seasonal flavors, platters, donut cakes, and of course Texas Donuts with customizable messages. Do you need to celebrate a special birthday, no problem! How about order a platter for that Friday meeting with the team, Paula's has you covered. Want a wedding cake to end all wedding cakes- go see Paula! Don't forget to check Paula's website for their on-line Coupons and .50 off bakers dozen or any of their other weekly specials.


But most importantly, if you happen to make it by in person, before I do that is, bring me some back...my stomach can hardly handle the anticipation!!



Friday, September 23, 2011

Donut Shout Out!

The Friday Nut

It's been a very busy few weeks for this donut hunter. I'm working on a new Donut Directory logo with Julie Rosse Designs , a very talented local designer and one-stop resource for all your design needs.

I've been spreading donuts far and wide bringing smiles to my NY colleagues straight from Kanes Donuts in Saugus. Be sure to stop in and check out their remodeled store, and new seasonal flavors, Glazed Apple Cider, and Pumpkin- YUM! 



And last but no means least I've been receiving Shout Outs from Donut Hunters around New England; such as our Loyal follower Bob C., in Springfield Ma, at the ever popular Donut Dip. Bob did this to a Jelly; I don't blame him.







And then of course we have our representative from New Hampshire, continuing that series of shots "Where's Tony with a Donut." Well, as evidenced by the picture you might deduce he's in an orchard, and likely in the state of New Hampshire. In fact, you wouldn't even know that Tony took this picture if it wasn't for the presence of the Apple Cider donuts on the hood of his car. Notice the large bite out of the donut on top. I saw the massacre that followed; it wasn't pretty. But again, I don't blame him. They're delicious!

Since Fall is now in full swing, and the donuts flavors change with the seasons, please don't forget to keep sending along your pics, hot spots and favorite hidden donut gems. We love to feature you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Habitat For Humanity, building a community with Donuts!

Mike W. Team Leader
The Wednesday Nut

Every year around this time my colleagues and I don our red volunteer shirts and, on behalf of Wells Fargo, volunteer our time to help with our local Habitat for Humanity group, Habitat for Humanity-North Shore, formed in 1985, to assist with several of their on-going projects.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the organization, Habitat for Humanity,  is a "nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. They build with people in need regardless of race or religion." Habitat depends largely on donations and the support of its volunteers, all from a wide range of backgrounds. Volunteers are normally divided into groups, depending on skills and interests, where they will take on various stages of demolishing existing properties and reconstructing new living spaces. The skills learned at a Habitat project can be invaluable for volunteers, and you are sure to create lasting friendships. As this past weekends project started at 8:00am, and we typically bring the coffee and donuts, what better time to bring along some of the best from our neighborhood shops for all to enjoy. 1 important fact to note; though many independent shops will start production in the wee hours of the morning, the donuts may not be on the shelves until after 7:00am, which in this case presented a problem; call ahead! 


Kaelyn and Andrew enjoy a few!
The donuts selected for this weekend came from The Donut Villa, Malden , Ma and one of my all time favorites (not just because it's 5 minutes from my house) Lyndells Bakery, Somerville, Ma. The good thing about these 2 shops (other than the donuts of course) is that, 1) they are relatively close to each other and 2)Donut Villa opens at 5:30am, while Lyndells opens at 7:00am. Why is the staggered opening a good thing? Well, because once your average donut hunter has visited the Donut Villa for a few jelly sticks and finished a coffee to aid digestion, Lyndells is about to open and you have a few moments to rest up on the drive over before starting the next chow down. Not that this is what I did, but one could do this if they were so inclined. On this fine morning I visited the Villa, ordered a dozen, walked out to the truck, jelly stick in hand, ate it, and then promptly turned around and walked back in to order another dozen before heading to Lyndells; it all depends on your preference.

Needless to say the donuts were a hit. In fact our foreman, Don, could be seen going back to the box every chance he got to grab another. We started off the morning all smiles and ended in much the same way. We had once again successfully contributed at least a small part of a project that will mean new housing for those less fortunate and a chance at a better life.
 
Scot is all smiles!

Which, right along with this picture, reminds me of the optimists creed and how fitting the donut is to a Habitat for Humanity project: ""As you ramble through life Brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole" ...giving back is always the best gift.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Call to Canadian Donut Hunters....

The Tuesday Nut

Greetings Donut Hunters! I've been traveling the last few weeks but it's great to be back in the good ole' USA, though I do miss my time in the Maritimes. For those of you who weren't aware I just returned from the culmination of an epic side-car motorcycle trip with my 78 year old father, who rode the 2600 mile journey in the side-car the whole way. This story harkens back 3 years when my brother and I took the same trip and our father unsuspectingly said "If you had had a side-car I would've gone with you." To which I said "Ok."

Traveling to a new country of course means locating and trying their donuts, which my father was only to happy to assist us with.

Now, as has become the case here in the States, the one saving grace for the donuts sampled was a small local bakery in Ch├ęticamp. Otherwise the chain stores were not only a significant disappointment, but I can actually claim that I have found one of the worst donuts I have ever eaten. I threw out half of a Boston Creme it was that bad. I know, you're shocked, it's true. Hence the title of this Blog entry. Please Canadians, if you can direct us to your best I want to hear from you. The Donut is, after all, the unofficial national Canadian Food, but these examples don't show it. One aspect that I will add, in all fairness to our brothers and sisters from the Great White North, is that regionally and demographically food tastes and textures can differ depending on the pallet. For example, yeast raised donuts of this region have a more bread-like consistency than the large majority of those in the US. This consistent difference would lead me to believe that Canadians might actually prefer a more bread-like donut than the US does; this will take more research to determine.

Stop 1) Bakin' Donuts; Summerside PEI. In all honesty and fairness to the subsequent shops we stopped at on the way through, I have previously been to this Bakin' Donuts, and other than just loving the name, wanted to confirm the limited number of varieties they offered; confirmed. Other than a few cake donuts and surprisingly a Boston Cream, they are largely a franchise which focuses on inexpensive, but well portioned breakfast and coffee. We sampled a Boston Cream, which you can see dad eating in the above photo and noted 3 things, 1) Bread like consistency of the dough 2) Sugary very light chocolate topping as opposed to an actual frosting 3) Cream that was very distinctly not homemade, almost clumpy. As we were there around 8:30 am, freshness was not really and issue. This donut would be passable in a pinch but otherwise stick to the breakfast and don't let the name mislead you.


Stop 2) Robbins Donuts - one of the larger donut chains around Canada, behind Tim Horton's and Country Style; noted in Steve Penfolds book, The Donut: A Canadian History, has built over 130 locations across Canada since inception in 1975. We were fortunate enough to spot one such location in Cavendish while filling up just after leaving the Anne of Green Gables museum. The girl behind the country was extremely friendly and informed me that the normally have a black forest donut but that someone in the factory must have been asleep today as they had a Boston Cream/Black Forest hybrid delivered; sounded great to me! The dad and I bit headlong into this new concoction and were greeted by much the same texture and taste as that of Bakin' Donuts. They must be sharing the same recipe book or this is in fact a part of the larger Canadian regional pallet, or the same factory makes them. The Chocolate coating was just that, not thick and rich but sugary and thin, dough was bread-like and the filling clumpy...hmmm.



Stop 3) Country Style - I have heard the story of the Country Style chain for years and, being the Donut Hunter that I am, owe it to everyone to sample all manner of donuts first hand be they chain or independent. 2 things to note here, not only do I not remember where this location was (we were somewhere in the middle of Nova Scotia) and I don't want to, but I fear that Country Style has succumb to market competition in an effort to keep up with behemoths like Tim Horton's, sacrificing quality and moving more to coffee and quick serve than its donut roots. I bought a Boston Cream, in order to compare all samples evenly, walked out to share it with the dad, and can quite honestly say this was hands down the WORST donut I have ever had in my life. I took 3 bites just to confirm how bad it was and then threw it in the trash. I would've shed a tear if what I threw away was anything close to resembling a donut. The dough was bread-like, comparable to the others though more soggy and not as fresh (if this donut could've ever been fresh) and the chocolate coating had the thick consistency of wax with a hint of sweetness which resembled the smell of a candle factory going full tilt in the summer. If I had wanted to eat a candle I would have gone to a craft store, bought a box of votives and chowed down. This was gross to put it mildly. The dad tried to take a bite and spit it out. Consider yourself warned; Country Style should make Boston Cream Candles and label them that way; leave the donuts to someone else.



Stop 4) Aucoin Bakery, Ch├ęticamp, NS- I almost passed this one by, save for having noticed the small donut on their sign. Thank god I didn't!! Leave it to the independent shops to pull through and Aucoin didn't disappoint. As seems the case with most of the donut shops and bakeries I have found in Canada, there is a greater emphasis on cake donuts than yeast raised. I figure, if you make a smaller variety and focus on cake, than what you do focus on should be excellent, right? Well, if I wasn't on a motorcycle this Donut Hunter would've walked out of Aucoin with all manner of fresh breads, pies, and tasty desserts; instead I walked out with a small sugared cake donut and a blueberry muffin for the dad. Dad was happy :) The donut was tasty, not dry, dunked very well with coffee and left no greasy taste in my mouth. Aucoin has been doing it right since 1959 and it's evident why. The smell in the shop is almost overwhelming while waiting in line, it says one thing; FRESH! Though Cheticamp might be a bit of a hike, if your in the Maritimes and looking for donuts you must make the journey. Otherwise just stop at your local Zellers and buy some candles; it's more satisfying to use wax that to eat it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Greetings From Canada

The Monday Nut

Greetings donut hunters, from O'Canada. I'll be traveling this week throughout the Maritimes and hunting down any donut jems I find along the way. Bakin Donuts made the list today, though this chain is more of a specialty breakfast place then a true Donut shop. However, I did sample a Boston cream (which strangely enough was actually called that; usually anywhere but Boston is largely Bavarian). The Boston cream was nothing spectacular to report, and the remainder of the selection was cake and sugared cake. Coffee is acceptable, but if you want something tasty just grab and egg and cheese, hit the road a call it good.

Here's hoping there more to be found in this section of Canada as the Donut is the unofficial national food.  Wish me luck!






Thursday, August 18, 2011

A story of hope.. and donuts‏

The Thursday Nut

Another contribution from our loyal Donut Hunter, Bob Caselden, this is a story of hope, of re-building and of being thankful for who and what you have especially when you have donuts.

Throughout many of the small towns which dot the landscape of the United States we find the best hidden gems of Americana, entreprenuerialism and that spirit that couples nostalgia with the courage to risk it all and build a community. Quite often these are the places we find our best homemade donut shops, nestled in a corner of "Main Street", an institution for the locals and a symbol of what America was built on to all who pass by; dreams. Whether a young child dreams of their parents taking them in to the local donut shop on the weekend to share some quality time and a little sugar, or the entrepreneur dreams of building a family business, a legacy, it's all contained within.

As is the natural course when dreams are built, they are also sometimes taken away; as happened to the residents of Joplin, Mo, this past May. One of those residents in particular is Dude Pendergraft, now 80 years old, the quintessential picture of the mid-west pioneer spirit, and the owner Dude's Daylight Donuts, or what's left of it thank to the tornadoes which decimated the town.

Dude surveys the space that used to be home to his doughnut shop, now just one of those empty slabs. The tornado also destroyed his house, which was right behind his shop. Still, Pendergraft is rebuilding the business, with a new, prefab building — one that will go up quick. His son, Allen, is in charge of getting a new sign.

"We'll try to make it as close to the original as possible. Hopefully within about two or three months, it will be back shining in the night again, I hope," Allen Pendergraft says.

It's this type of spirit that our country is so in need of in these difficult economic and political times. Whether natural disasters take away everything we have built, or our own desires and egos get in the way, we need to remember that it's the people that count. As long as we have them there is nothing our spirits can't rebuild.

Next time you drive through Joplin, Mo, look for Dude and sit down, have a donut, and remember how lucky we all are.

For the Full story on Dude and rebuilding Joplin, Mo please visit:


Monday, August 15, 2011

Philosophy of the Doughnut

The Monday Nut

My dear friend Sally Levitt Steinberg's grandfather Adolf Levitt, who invented the automatic donut machine, had the Optimists Creed displayed on all menus of his Mayflower Donut chain:

"As you ramble through life Brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole"

For today's nut I would like to offer you up several bits of donut wisdom which, like the Optimists Creed, speaks not only to how we should try to face life each day, but even better how we can use donuts to face life and bring out our own inner donut. Think of this as "Donut Chi" if you will and thank God, or whatever you believe in, that we figure out the grand mystery of mating sugar, dough, and deliciousness.




 

Quotes: From the Mel -O-Creme site

" Doughnuts will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no doughnuts." anonymous

"The donut hole didn't go anywhere because it was never really there." - - ...Rhonda Barger

"Doughnut or donut? That is the question!" anonymous

"The (doughnut) hole is there, we know it is, but you can't see it, you can't feel it. You cannot prove its existence, and yet by its very existence it defines and shapes the doughnut. Therefore, I believe the hole is the soul of a doughnut. When you eat a doughnut, you have fulfilled its reason for existing, and you set free its immortal soul --the hole. Woe to those half-eaten doughnuts whose souls are doomed to purgatory, and those stale, unbitten doughnuts whose immortal lives will continue in doughnut hell!" ...Teddi Deppner

"mmmMMMmmmmm.....doughnuts...." Homer Simpson

In regards to what kind of donut you are, well:

Attitude
Optimist : Sees the doughnut, not the hole.
Pessimist : Sees the hole, not the doughnut.
Realist : Sees both the doughnut and the hole.
Diplomat : Talks through the hole.
Dreamer : Only cares for the icing on the doughnut.
 
Career
Businessman : One who sells you the doughnut.
Successful Businessman : One who takes the money, making you think that you already have the doughnut.
Very Successful Businessman : Makes you pay for the hole too.

Politics
Capitalism : You buy a doughnut.
Socialism : The State gives you a doughnut.
Communism : The State sells you a doughnut.
Marxism : The State takes your doughnut away and gives it to someone who hasn't got a doughnut.
Stalinism : The State takes your doughnut away, eats it, and tells you that they gave it to someone who hadn't got a doughnut.
Bureaucracy : The State takes your doughnut away and then refuses to let you buy another doughnut because you already have one.
Fascism : The Storm-troopers eat your doughnut and shoot you.
Dictatorship : Buy a doughnut, or else.

Religion
Church of England : You know, in a very real sense, God is a doughnut.
Buddhism : God is a doughnut, and God is not a doughnut.
Confucianism : Confucius he say doughnut.
Zen : What is the sound of one doughnut clapping?
Catholicism : The priest blesses the doughnut and you mustn't chew it.
Christianity : I was hungry, and ye gave me a doughnut.
Fundamentalism : Doughnuts are an abomination unto the Lord, etc.

No matter what type of donut or doughnut you are, and how you see the world through your nut, just remember it's the donuts that bind all together; in laughter, in sadness, in joy and indigestion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

World's largest box of doughnuts weighs in at 666 pounds

The Thursday Nut

Ever astute donut connoisseur, fellow hunter and loyal follower Deb Walther, gets props for informing us all of this breaking story- 666 Pounds of Yummy Goodness!
From http://www.bites.today.com/ and contributed by Keith Wagstaff  we have a pending new world record for the largest box of donuts, formerly 333 pounds, now at a whooping 666 pounds. Per the article Voodoo Doughnuts co-owner Tres Shannon says “The current record is a little less than 333 pounds, so we just decided to double it to 666 pounds, which kind of goes along with our voodoo theme,” “It’s the mark of the ‘yeast’.”

"To help Voodoo achieve its goal of making it into the Guinness Book of World Records, Portland’s mayor Sam Adams, a notary and a scale master were on hand to verify that Pogson and Shannon had indeed constructed the world’s largest box of doughnuts."

Now just imagine how much fun it would be to jump in that box with a few of your closest friends, close the lid and chow down...we can always dream.


Voodoo Doughnuts is a Old Town Portland, OR, institution which is world renowned for it eclectic varieties.

Keith Wagstaff is a journalist living in New York City. He writes about food, books, current events and more. He received his degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California and was a city editor at Citysearch New York for more than five years before heading out into the wilderness that is freelance writing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Arnie The Doughnut

The Monday Nut

Do you like surprises? I do. And if you're like most people, even those who vehemently resist the surprise, secretly desiring it that much more, you probably do too. With that in mind, I hope I never stop being surprised by where I randomly find donuts. When I say "randomly find donuts" I'm not talking under the couch or in the right hand pocket of my sport coat, or even in my mouth unexpectedly; it happens more than you think. I'm speaking more in a cultural sense, though geographic locations and obscure places are welcome too.

For today's surprise let's look at Arnie The Doughnut, the new play which was performed this Spring at Chicago's Lifeline Theatre. I know what you're thinking, I'm just surprised that no one has written a play about me yet and that I'm not a donut too; to the 1st thought, no, and to the 2nd, if I keep eating them I soon will be one.

From the Lifeline site: "Arnie, a lovable chocolate-covered doughnut with sprinkles, is the happiest pastry in the bakery when he’s finally selected to be taken home by a new owner. But when mild-mannered Mr. Bing tries to eat the unsuspecting Arnie, both are in for the surprise of their lives. Embark upon a hilarious quest to redefine human/doughnut relations with a pair of true originals, in this world premiere musical adaptation by the creators of Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch."

A story brimming with coming of age themes coupled with self-discovery and exploration which only the personality of a donut can truly embody. Would anyone really care if this was a muffin? I dare say not. Each donut, like each person, has it's own individual characteristics, shapes, sizes and flavors which can easily portray the human experience if we project upon it. Couple the donuts unique sensibility with its natural proclivity towards humor and I think we can bet on finding our friends popping up in unusual places for the foreseeable future.

Let me know where you find donuts. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another day's stint in the free world begins here in the donut shop

The Monday Nut

Contributed from our loyal Donut Hunter, Anthony Mento, and recently featured on The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor, I'm honored to present to you a piece from the contemplative side of the donut world by Detroit poet, Michael Heffernan

The Art of Self-Defense

Another day's stint in the free world
begins here in the donut shop. Standing in line
wondering how many cheese Danish and apple fritters
as well as donuts I should buy, while the creamy girls
in their summer dresses are licking their profiteroles,
I see myself as a boy in the summer of 1953
salting sliced tomatoes with my grandfather
in the white shirt he wore. The kitchen was big and sweet.
The breeze from the electric fan swung by us and away.
The oilcloth on the table was cool and slick.
The leaves of the tree of heaven dappled the sill.
In line in the donut shop is a man in a straw hat
between a woman in pigtails and a boy with large eyes.
Gramps was a boxer in his younger days, semiprofessional.
He watched the Wednesday night fights on our TV.
In his last autumn he taught me to box.
He set up punching bags in his basement.
He taped newspapers to the windows. He named me Spike.
He got me to shadowbox next to the coal bin.
He kept me at it hard till it felt like forever.
When the time came, he arranged a bout
with Mike Donnelly from down the street.
Mike struck the top of my head at once and down I came.
He helped me up from the floor and went home.
I was eleven. I wasn't fast or clever. This was the autumn
after the summer they fried the Rosenbergs.
Gramps walked me down to the corner to get the Free Press.
The photograph showed their bodies on the front page.
He tugged my hand and kept me from seeing it.
We mark these solitudes throughout our lives.
This is not simply about things as they are.
This is about donuts, profiteroles, and straw hats.
Things cannot be as they are in this country.

(buy now)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Any Time is Donut Time

The Monday Nut

Donuts are one of those special food items that can, like most traditional breakfast foods, be eaten at any time of the day. I can't really think of or imagine a time when I wouldn't eat one; and I don't want to.

Which brings us to this weeks musing suggested by our loyal donut hunter Bob Caselden. This weekend marked our yearly mountain bike trip to New Hampshire's White Mountains, to which I brought donuts of course. After settling in, taking a swim in the river and sharing a few laughs over libations late into the evening, I produced a little white card board box with donuts fresh from Lyndells. Now, imagine yourself in a classic Old Milwaukee commercial, and replace the king crabbing (or other hunting/fishing activity) with donuts and you pretty much have the scene. A bunch of guys, a camp fire, mountain bikes, a bunch of unnecessary outdoor gear, helicopters, beer, and donuts; "Donuts at night, does it get any better than this?" No Bob, it doesn't.

So, no matter what you're plans and where you're going always bring donuts. You're friends will thank you; and you could end up on The Donut Directory.