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Doughnuts are poor man's dessert

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POSTED: July 10, 2014 4:30 p.m.
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Doughnuts or donuts — no matter how they’re spelled, or where they’re from, they deliver the goods.

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It doesn’t matter if you spell it donut or doughnut — these little ring-shaped dough cakes are deep-fried and smothered in sweetness. Donuts are a poor man’s dessert.
The well-to-do can have their crème brûlées, tiramisus or streusels. I’m OK with a few glazed donuts.
My spelling preference is donut, which is how Dunkin’ Donuts spells it. But my doughnut preference is Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Since Associated Press style instructs me to spell it doughnut, though, I’d best go that route.
I know there are plenty of people who’ll disagree with me on the Dunkin’ vs. Krispy Kreme argument, and I can respect that. I want them to know I’m able to forgive them for being wrong.
My preference is based on the cake-to-sugar ratio. The coating on my doughnut has to be proportional to the weight of the fried dough it covers. Dunkin’ Donuts’ dough tends to be heavier than Krispy Kreme’s. On the other hand, Krispy Kreme’s sugar coating is considerably more generous.
Besides all that, Krispy Kreme started out and remains based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I like local. Dunkin’ Donuts are not from around here. In fact, I recall an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that showed a Dunkin’ Donuts on Mars — maybe that’s where they’re from.
My favorite kind of doughnut is glazed, which essentially is a melted-sugar coating applied immediately after the donut comes out of the fryer. I like that. In the recent past, when I was driving down Abercorn Street in Savannah and Krispy Kreme’s “Hot Now” light was on, my pickup would change lanes on its own and head that way. I’d grab a dozen of these sweet temptations while they still were hot and eat at least four before I got out of the parking lot.
My wife would strongly suggest (the way wives often suggest things) that I shouldn’t eat so many doughnuts at once. Now she’s the one eating these melt-in-your-mouth delicacies one  after the other. Over time, I’ve trained myself to stop at three.
It’s not easy, especially during October and November when Krispy Kreme has its pumpkin-spice doughnut. My wife says I’m supposed to subtract the two pumpkin-spice doughnuts from my self-imposed quota of three glazed doughnuts. Not so! A fellah can restrain himself just so much.
I can get away with gorging myself on doughnuts because I so rarely get them. In fact, nowadays, when I’m heading into or leaving downtown Savannah’s bumper-to-bumper traffic, I make sure I’m in the far lane, where the traffic prevents me from changing lanes. However, if someone brings a box of doughnuts by the office, I don’t say or do anything to offend their sweet generosity. If it’s a box of Dunkin’ Donuts, I get just one. If it’s Krispy Kreme, well, I don’t know what happened to all the glazed ones.
Did you ever wonder why doughnuts have holes? According to Yahoo Answers, it has to do with the density of the dough and the method for cooking them. Doughnuts dough is too dense to cook all the way through without that hole in the center. It also says that a long time ago, the holes allowed bakers to string their doughnuts together and hang them in a display window.
Yahoo Answers says nothing about what happened to the doughnut holes in ancient time. I think they were donated to the local newspaper office. If not, they should have been.
When I was living on campus while attending N.C. State University, I often walked from my dorm to restaurants on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. If I wasn’t hitting a pizza joint across from the English department, I’d stroll over to a hot-dog stand and grab a couple Carolina dogs covered in mustard, chili, onions and slaw. No drink. That was about $1 back then. I’d wolf these down as I walked further up the street to a doughnut shop, where I’d get two glazed doughnuts and a Pepsi. Another $1.
Sure, I could have gotten a burger, fries and small drink for about $2, but what would I have had for dessert?

Email Murray at rmurray@coastalcourier.com.

 

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