Tuesday, May 17, 2005


An ode to doughnuts

Doughnuts are a very Canadian treat. According to the CBC, there are more doughnut shops per capita in Canada than in any other country, and we eat more doughnuts than other country's citizens. Canada has one-third the number of doughnut shops that the States has - with one-tenth of the population. The jury is still out on whether this should be a point of national pride or shame.

I'm particular about my doughnuts. Won't eat just any doughnut. After a lifetime of sampling, I have a definite preference for Tim Hortons doughnuts. It's true that they have the best coffee and the tastiest doughnuts, but it's the company's patriotism that has endeared them to me. Beer, hockey and Tim Hortons - the core of the Canadian identity.

That's why when American doughnut magnate Krispy Kreme infiltrated the Canadian doughnut market back in 2001, I was prepared to dislike them from the start. I had heard that Krispy Kreme doughnuts were greasier, heavier and more sugary than Timmy's doughnuts. Mind you, when they opened a store in Mississauga, Ontario, my brother told me they had to hire police to direct traffic in the parking lot. I told you, we Canadians take our doughnuts seriously.

It took more than four years for Krispy Kreme to wend its way to the nation's capital. I don't think they have any coffee shops in the region yet, but you can get the doughnuts in the convenience kiosks in the Petro Canada and Shell gas stations in Barrhaven. On the weekend, Beloved stopped to tank up the car and came out with a half dozen assortment of Krispy Kremes to go.

I was naturally reluctant. First and foremost, I felt disloyal cheating on Timmy's. A distant second, I could only imagine how many WW points I would blow on a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut. But they were in the car, I was in the car, we were setting off on a 45 minute drive around the countryside to give the sleeping boys in the back seat a bit of a nap after an adventurous afternoon. So I tried one.

You know what? It was okay, but it didn't blow my socks off. I was smugly vindicated. It was good, but not that good. Beloved ate two, I ate one, and we brought the rest home with us.

As we were driving, I read on the box that Krispy Kreme recommends their doughnuts be heated before consumption. Ewwwwwwww! Hot doughnuts? That's revolting.

The next morning, I was grubbing through the cupboards looking for something to go with my morning coffee when I came across the leftover doughnuts. Finally, curiousity won me over, and I popped a chocolate frosted glazed doughnut into the microwave for the recommended eight seconds.

Oh. My. God.

Truly, the most exquisite doughnut experience imaginable. How could something as disgusting in concept as warm doughnuts be so incredibly delicious?

I'm sorry, Timmy's. I promise that you're still my java dealer of choice. But damn, that was one tasty doughnut.