Today is National Donut Day. It is officially one of the best holidays ever. To make it even better, many donut shops are giving away free donuts today. That’s right, you can go to Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and many local donut shops today to get a free donut!
Donuts are one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, but their exact origin is difficult to pin down. Several proposed origins of the donut (originally “doughnut”) exist, all in the nineteenth century. It’s credited variously as: an invention of Dutch immigrants in the United States; created by American Hanson Gregory while aboard a trading ship; an American invention referenced in a British cookbook in 1803; and the “Hertfordshire nut” from a cookbook given to a British baroness at the dawn of the 1800s. Wherever they came from originally, they have come to be known as a quintessential American food.
Go to the Donut Shop, You Fools
The most traditional is the cake donut with a hole in the middle. That traditional donut is often forgotten today. People want a donut filled with raspberry cream, topped with a chocolate glaze and a sea salt dusting.
Granted, there are some great crazy flavors, such as cookies and cream, but let us not forget the perfect simplicity of a well-made cake donut paired with a good cup of coffee. That lends itself to the classic “coffee and donut” insult, sometimes associated with police officers, but honestly, a perfect donut with a great cup of coffee is hard to beat. I have a coffee mug that says, “Abs are cool, but have you tried coffee and donuts?” I have, and my abs, well, they’re MIA.
Donuts’ brand has been diminished by their ubiquity. If you go to a corner store, they have donuts. If you go to a grocery store, they have donuts. If you go to a big box retailer, they have donuts. They’re inescapable. In the end, good donuts aren’t often found at a random retailer, they’re found at a donut shop.
In the world of donuts, you have the big players: Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. These two chains provide easy access to donuts the world over. At Dunkin’ you get a good array of choices from the basic to the more advanced. Their Boston Crème donut is my favorite.
At Krispy Kreme it’s all about the hot, fresh, glazed donuts. When you have one fresh off the line, still warm, still covered in gooey frosting, it’s hard to resist. Both of these chains absolutely have their place, but you can also find some great donuts from the little guys in your market.
If you live in a city that has Voodoo Doughnuts, count yourself lucky. They have donuts like the Voodoo Doll, a yeast donut filled with a scrumptious raspberry jelly, covered in chocolate, decorated with a face, and stabbed in the middle with a pretzel stick. It’s elaborate but very tasty. They also have the Old Dirty Bastard covered with Oreos, chocolate, and peanut butter, and one of the greatest donut combos of all time, the Bacon Maple Bar. It’s a long yeast donut topped with a sweet but not too sweet maple frosting and crowned with bacon. Yes, bacon.
I’ve written before about the joys of a donut-ice cream sandwich, and if you’re looking for an over-the-top way to celebrate National Donut Day, I highly encourage you to create your own donut-ice cream sandwiches. If you’re looking for something a little more attainable, head to your local donut shop for a dozen of their best confections. Whether you’re eating them for breakfast, snack, or desert, donuts are a great meal (zip it, nutritionists).
As for the Best Donuts In Texas
There’s a great donut selection here in Austin, but to celebrate National Donut Day, I made the three hour trip up I-35 recently to try the best donuts in Dallas, Top Pot Doughnuts. Top Pot’s slogan is that they’re “hand-forged doughnuts.” I’m honestly not sure what that means. If there’s a blacksmith in the back of the shop pounding out donut molds, I didn’t see him, but regardless, they make some good donuts!
For you, dear reader, I ordered a dozen of their best donuts, even without my gallbladder. With a hot cup of coffee, I sat down to work my way through a smorgasbord of fried dough, everything from the traditional cake donut, to a glazed yeast donut, to an amazing cookies and cream-flavored donut. It was an incredible morning! I went all-out with a selection of traditional cake, cinnamon sugar, chocolate, Boston crème, sprinkle, cookies and crème, and even an apple fritter. Honestly, it’s hard to pick a favorite.
That’s the great thing about donuts: everyone has a favorite, or maybe two, that he loves no matter where he goes. Sometimes people have a favorite depending upon the producer. For instance, the dark, rich chocolate on top of the Boston crème donuts at Top Pot made these the best in their class. The richness of the dark chocolate paired perfectly with the creaminess of the filling. They took a great donut and made it amazing!
Then again, there’s no better glazed donut than a hot off the line Krispy Kreme. Its sticky, gooey goodness is impossible to resist. I dare you! That is the epitome of the glazed donut.
The “frosted” part of the frosted donuts at Top Pot were truly great. Whether it was chocolate or traditional, the way they frost their donuts is hard to beat. It’s rich but not overpowering, sweet but not too sweet, creamy and luscious.
Donuts come in enough flavors and types for everyone to find a favorite. Yeast or cake? Chocolate or plain? Sprinkles or something more exotic? There are so many possibilities, and they’re all at your sticky fingertips today, National Donut Day. Go out there, a grab a donut or 12 to enjoy. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a donut to eat. Mmmmmmm!