Heads Up Donut Fans and Foes

Next Sunday, August 31, we will try something different on our blog. The author of a new book on the history of the donut has agreed to be at his computer from 8:00 a.m. ET to 2:00 p.m. ET, ready to respond to your questions and comments right here on Soapbox. His name is Paul Mullins, and he is the author of "Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut." Mullins is an anthropologist at Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis. Mullins says, the donut is the symbol of consumer culture. What do you think? Share your donut story or question today and come back next week to see Paul's response.



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Leave it to the American consumer culture to make doughnuts seem like more than just junk food. Krispy Creme may as well be whiskey or cigarettes. Just another excuse for having far too much of a good thing. I hope I don't have to say this too many times, but a deep dish is just pizza, a Whopper is just a burger, and Krispy Cremes are just doughnuts. As much as I like all three, please don't take it too far when sing their praises.

Sent by Sean D. Atkins | 8:49 AM | 8-24-2008

One of my favorite children's books is Mark Alan Stamaty's "Who Needs Donuts (when you've got love)".

Sent by Linda L. | 8:59 AM | 8-24-2008

I loved waking up to the smell of fresh doughnuts when I was a kid. My dad made mashed potato doughnuts very early on many summer mornings at our cottage on the lake. They were deep fried as all true doughnuts should be, He had no use for those cake doughnuts. He put them in brown lunch bags whose bottoms turned brown from the grease and delivered them to all the neighbors. They were only good for a day. After that they went stale. So good and so many memories tied into them for me.

Sent by Erik Nielsen | 9:02 AM | 8-24-2008

My father owned a donut shop during my childhood. It wasn't a long time, but long enough to imprint the life of a donut shop owner's experience on his daughter's mind.

I remember hanging out at the shop every day (during my those summers with Dad), getting to pour coffee, meet interesting people, being the one who prepared the filled donuts, and of course eating lots of donuts myself.

While I don't own one myself, it made me appreciative of the people element that one finds in cafes and donut shops today. I can't thank my father enough for that.

Sent by Dawn | 9:09 AM | 8-24-2008

What has more pull-power than a simple doughnut?
Can one doughnut start a small-town revolution?

I am a children's book writer and illustrator, and could not resist exploring this idea when small Billy appeared on my sketchbook pages, trailing behind him, "a doughnut tied to his belt with a string." The result? The Great Doughnut Parade, published recently by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. I was having so much fun. And felt it only right to be munching doughnuts as I worked - research.

Sent by Rebecca Bond | 9:10 AM | 8-24-2008

Doughnuts: Deborah Hedwall eating a doughnut in a performance of Solomon's Child, Long Wharf Theatre CT),1980. She was mezmerizing -- utterly concentrated on that doughnut to the very end -- running her finger along the plate to get every single crumb.

Sent by Wendy B. | 9:11 AM | 8-24-2008

When Krispy Kream first came to our town and the doughnuts were something of a novelty, my ten year old son and I developed a habit of going there on Saturday mornings. While I am not a big doughnut fan myself, the restaurant at that time served a very good dark roast coffee. (They have since, for some obscure reason, ceased to offer it, taking away my only reason to patronize them.) My son would usually order a jelly doughnut. We would sit down and spend some father-and-son time, eating and chatting. One morning, having glanced away to check the traffic out the window, I turned around to see that he had set his pastry on a napkin, punctured it with a straw, and was sucking out the filling like a spider draining a captured moth!

Sent by Doug Jackson | 9:13 AM | 8-24-2008

New Haven Train Station

Being from southern Indiana, I challenged myself, just for fun, to bus to Manhattan, take the train to New Haven, see the art museum at Yale, and then get back to Southern Indiana all in about 2 days. Everything went fantastically, I even stopped on my way to Rockefeller Center to skate first, the highest peak in the world so far, for me and then found my subway northward. Oh those cute tickettakers. After the positively incubatorius two-hour ride. in New Haven, I sprinted up the steps to the train station, on through, to the streets of New Haven to my hotel. Then I stopped cold. I was smacked of the beauty and history in a way never before, and, by the way, a Dunkin Donuts was there. With my coffee and donut, I walked in a reverence on the gleaming floor that held the weight of countless scholars through the ages, the walls that heard conversations of physics, politics, art, the chandeliers that lighted paper for playwrights and novelists to write upon, the benches that as people sat, famous friendships and alliances formed that changed that world. I felt I didn't belong, yet it was a public place, and Dunkin Donuts was there, and a very busy place, indeed.

Sent by Lisa Schuttler | 9:20 AM | 8-24-2008

In 1973, my then-husband needed to use some special archives at the University of Illinois in Champagne for his dissertation, so we moved there for the summer. That is where, in the local paper, I read the following article.

An enterprising, savvy small businessman owned a very popular donut shop out at nearby, major suburban crossroads frequented by truckers and farmers. His little donut shop had been a fixture for years, was well established and successful. So of course it couldn't last. A major donut chain opened its plastic doors across the highway and was knocking his business to pieces.

Unwilling to curl up and die, the small donut shop owner retaliated. He went topless. The article described the truckers and farmers dunking donuts and losing pieces of the donuts on the counter and themselves and spilling coffee because their eyes kind of rolled uncordinatedly in their heads. The waitresses crowed about their amazing tips, and the owner went on and on about his skyrocketing profits.

The chain donut shop across the way went out of business.

Sent by Mary R. chione | 9:34 AM | 8-24-2008

Growing up, my Dad would go out and buy donuts every Saturday and Sunday morning. I would eat two chocolate iced donuts every morning. Obviously, after I graduated from college this tradition died off...for awhile.
When my daughter turned 2, my Dad thought it would be a great idea to resume the donut delivery. So every Sunday at about 7am, donuts will appear on our front door. My daughter insists in getting up early enough to greet the donuts each Sunday morning. So now, along with my two chocolate iced donuts, two chocolate and sprinkles donuts are delivered for both of my kids. But that is still not all.
My older sister has a son as well. So my Dad delivers donuts to them as well. I think he actually stops at Dunkin Donuts for them first, and then stops at a local bakery (Unger's) for us. But that is still not all.
My Dad makes one last stop at Bialy's bagels for my younger sister (she doesn't have kids yet).
I think all of this started as an excuse for him to pick up a donut for himself, but I think it really shows what a selfless and loving parent and grandparent my Dad is.

Sent by Peter Titas | 9:52 AM | 8-24-2008

I used to work at a Dunkin' Donuts. I was on the graveyard shift (11pm-6am) and earned $1.70/hr. The boss wouldn't let people work two nights in a row because they weren't getting their sleep so I only worked a maximum of four nights a week and stayed up all night on my off nights to keep my sleep cycle intact. But after a month of this I told the owner I just wanted to do fillins. It was a good decision because everyone else's health was so screwed up that I wound up working more as a fill-in than I did as a regular.
I those days the donuts were made in the store by a donut chef. The rest of us were responsible for working the ocunter and for finishing the donuts (frosting and filling). Nobody else liked finishing and I didn't like working the counter all that much, so I always took over the donut finishing.
About 3 A.M. the last of the night customers would leave and we'd have an hour all to ourselves before the first of the morning customers came in. During this time we would sing, dance and have donuts fights. The last week I was there before school started I asked for and got a raise to $1.90.

Sent by Wayne Shepard | 10:07 AM | 8-24-2008

happened a little while ago:


I don't think I can take it. I can't resist. I am literally sitting in my cool, air-conditioned office, totally sweating. Some bastard brought in donuts today, and every time I walk by the combination office suppliers, photocopier, printer, paper recycling, coffee, refrigerator and mail room, where they are evilly resting in the box, I can hear them tempting me.

I know it sounds insane, but even here in my office, two doors down from the donuts, I can hear them singing their siren song. You may think this is a quaint metaphor, but it's not. They are calling out to me. I really don't think I can stand it.

I even had breakfast this morning. I have a new cereal called "Smart Start". Wow, what a great way to start the day! After the cereal, I went to get my haircut and then to Alesci's Italian Grocery to by pizza dough for tonight (last night I made tomato and pesto sauce, gonna have some tasty pizza, maybe a couple of beers). Alesci's had fresh Italian break which I also purchased and ate a bit of already, yet none of this can compare to the sweet delectability of a donut. I came into work late this morning and noticed the donuts right away.

There are cinnamon twisties, glazed truck wheels, cream-filled, chocolate-covered delights, and even apple fritters. I have to admit, I haven't fully resisted. There was a bit of chocolate just sitting alone in the box, isolated from any particular donut. This was my mistake That small sample has my entire being focused on the whole cream-filled, chocolate-covered delight.

"Well maybe you should try just a bite of me." It's speaking in a low, sexy voice now. "You don't have to have all of me, just a sweet, tasty little bit."

Oh my gosh, it's impossible to resist. I have already tried to escape by going across the street to the other building in our little office park complex to solicit some "help" for our IT Help Desk for a virus or worm my computer seems to have. It's SOOOO slow.

But the distraction was only temporary. I am in my office again and can no longer take it. I have to go to the donuts...

Ok, I'm back, and the donuts are all gone.

I know it may be disgusting, but instead of devouring the donuts, I took the box to the bathroom and flushed the donuts down the toilet, one by one, one flush per donut. They scream horrifically as I tore them apart, dropping the pieces into the swirling water, but now, with the dirty duty done, I am feeling much better.

So how are you doing?

Sent by Evan B. Cooper | 10:13 AM | 8-24-2008

when I was 8 I pretended to collect money for
the March Of Dimes, but spent it on purchasing
chocolate covered do-nuts at my local grocery
store (as my parents would not allow donuts
in the house 'PastyFat' My father snarled). To this day I cannnot eat donuts, as whenever I see one, I 'm reminded of my 'treachery'

Sent by Ruth Ziony | 10:58 AM | 8-24-2008

One of my favorite bits of graffiti at my college was "When taking a flying f*ck at a rolling donut, is angular momentum preserved?" To which someone had responded, "Only on glare ice with an infinitely stiff hard-on."

Sent by Steve | 11:04 AM | 8-24-2008

Back when I was in college, my best friend's crazy little brother was not only the source of our entertainment, but also the instigator of our wildest exploits. One during finals week, Bob decided we needed a study break, so at 3 in the morning he drove us from the dorms in Berkeley to San Mateo, across the Bay and South almost 30 miles. The plan was to arrive at the donut shop by 4 a.m. just as the first donuts came out. I am not a fan of donuts, but I have to admit these were the most delicious donuts I ever ate. And I aced my final that day.

Sent by Susan Swanson | 11:10 AM | 8-24-2008

My first job, other than the lawn-mowing variety, was at Seiler's Bakery in Indianola, Iowa. Prior to that, my only experience with doughnuts was the little Hostess ones, either powdered or chocolate, that my dad favored to take in his lunch pail. As I learned to mix ingredients and make bread and rolls and the other treats of a small-town bakery, the glazed doughnuts became my instant favorite. Dropping the dough into the vat of grease, instantaneously starting 24 or so glazed doughnuts toward their ultimate end was fun to watch. Flipping them in the grease with the long wooden paddle appealed to the boy in me, at that time all of 15-years old, seeing how fast I could flip them without harming their circular imperfections. The darker surfaces, with the lighter ring around the center caught my eye in one of those "Oh, that's how that happens." moments. And then when one of the batches were done, the boss/owner would allow us to snag one for ourselves, the wonderful smell, the warmth on my fingers, and then the taste! After so many years, 40+ or so, I suppose I can't accurately describe that sweetness of the freshly made glazed doughnut, but I vividly remember the sensation of pleasure at my discovery that what I was experiencing was a real doughnut, not the artificially flavored, colored, textured things in my dad's lunch pail, but something real and special. I still have that remembrance of those early morning pleasures when I walk by a real bakery and the subtle mix of smells from freshly-baked goods entices me to enter and choose just one to savor.

Sent by Larry Edwards | 11:21 AM | 8-24-2008

A donut story could not be complete without including the little historical shop in northern Minnesota, appropriately deemed 'The World's Best Donut Shop'. The founder, Marietta, died earlier this year, but the shop has remained in the family. At least once every summer someone from our family (the cousins) makes the 6 hour drive up north to get up at 4:00am and help her granddaughters make (and eat) the world's BEST donuts! http://www.worldsbestdonutsmn.com/

Sent by Kirsten Maue | 11:38 AM | 8-24-2008

Donuts mean fatherly love and childhood memories to me. It is the strangest thing, given how otherwise healthy and active my family was, but for some reason, my Dad would rush out at 7:00 AM on Saturdays to buy donuts. He and the dozen would be waiting for my brother's and I, enticement to get ready for swim practice when we were young or as we became teenagers, simply to get out of bed. I have my own children now and everytime we would go to spend a weekend with their Grandfather, he would have Saturday morning donuts for them (something forbidden in our own home by their health conscious father :) )
A few months ago, my Dad died suddenly at age 73 after a four mile run. I cannot pass a Donut shop without a tear in my eye thinking warmly of all those childhood Saturday mornings:my brothers, my Dad and donuts.

Sent by Michelle Shindell | 12:04 PM | 8-24-2008

After listening to a Public Radio story concerning donuts and, more specifically, Krispy Kreme Donuts opening a shop in Las Vegas. Well, we imagined the taste of the donuts. The story described the making of the donuts with the automatic donut 'trolley'. We couldn't think of anything else, but those donuts. According to the report, they were undoubtly the best and we had to find one.
Where would the closest KKD be? Well, Las Vegas was out of the question. The closest location, at the time, was St. Louis. We found this out by calling the Las Vegas shop. It didn't matter that we lived outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We decided to go and chase the donut. It didn't matter that it was an overnighter (staying in Champaign, Il on a snowy night. We had to continue. We got to St. Louis. We didn't know where one was located. Several grocery store shoppers didn't know where it was either. Finally, our question was answered. We were withing 15 minutes from it. After a few driving mistakes, we pulled into their lot. Is that a Donut Drive Through there? No, we had to go inside. We stood in line. We watched the 'trolley' bring the batter into the hot oil and watched the hot donuts surface. The donuts moved on and were lathered with frosting and sprinkled with delightful sprinkles. We got our two donuts each and coffee. It was worth the drive. It was heavenly. We bought souveniers and 2 dozen donuts to share with our Wisconsin friends. They were forced to listen to our us as we regaled our story.
We talk often about our trip. The smell, theatrics and taste of those donuts.

Sent by Rodney Fraid | 12:33 PM | 8-24-2008

I lived in Syracuse NY from 1964 to 1972. Abe's Donuts Supreme on Erie Boulevard in Syracuse was the source for the best donuts at most coffee shops, diners, school cafeterias & sandwich shops for many years. Syracuse students and faculty would rapidly wipe out the fresh deliveries to shops on Marshall Street. However, those really addicted to Abe's would go to the mother-lode around 2 in the morning. Abe, whose spectacle lenses were thick as the bottom of a soda bottle, loved to make special orders - the scrumptious filling and topping of your choice. Real whipped cream, made-from-scratch eggy puddings, I drool at the memories.
My niece Lynn came up from Bethlehem PA for a vacation for a number of years. We'd take her to Abe's in the middle of the night for donuts. She loved seeing all the college kids around the counter, faces covered with powdered sugar and chocolate icing. I don't think she realized that most of them were stoned out of their minds, she just knew they shared our happiness over the donuts.
When expecting my first child, I'd watch my diet, go and weigh in at the doctor's office, then stop at Abe's for my reward on the way home.

Sent by Dixie Dugan White | 12:48 PM | 8-24-2008

I think that opinions about donuts is a generational thing. Today's health conscious culture is very different than my parent's culture of the 1940s and 1950s. My mom is now in her late 80s and her although she can't retain her recent memories, one of her fondest memories are about Dunkin Donuts. She constantly asks me to bring her some Dunkin Donuts to have with her coffee. I can pretty much guarantee that when I'm in my late 80s, donuts will not be one of my treasured memories. What will it be, yogurt, maybe?

Sent by PG Baker | 1:01 PM | 8-24-2008

My mother talked about an automated donut machine at the USO in King City, California, during WW2. Has anyone seen such a device?

My parents met at the USO and my father was a Baker in the Navy. When he left the Navy, he worked for several years in a bakery. Among a lot of baked product were raised, glazed donuts.

Sent by David King | 1:03 PM | 8-24-2008

When I was a kid, after church on Sundays, my sister would take me to a wonderful place near Montvale, N.J., called Tices Farm. It was a family run apple farm with a curio shop and fruit stand. After we would have lunch at the charbroil burger place and visit the curio shop, we would head over to the fruit stand where for 5 cents and got a cup to have all the cider you wanted from the spicket in a trough. And of course with this you would get a home made donut that you watched being made right there. They only made old-fashioned cake donuts, but they are still my favorites. Not sure if it's the donut, or the wonderful memory of the time spent with my sister. Tices, sadly, is gone now but this lovely memory remains. I look forward to reading your book.

Sent by Tracy DeFreitas | 1:11 PM | 8-24-2008

My favorite donut memory is walking into our local donut shop on a Saturday morning. Front and center, with a whole bunch of my friends and a crowd of people in the shop waiting their turn, I politely ordered 'an apple critter please.' The kind lady behind the counter, thinking she must have heard me wrong, asked me to repeat my order. To which I again asked for an apple critter. The large crowd around me laughed, she smiled and replied, "well dear, they may look like critters, but around here, we call them fritters!" Five shades of red, I walked out with my 'critter' in hand and enjoyed every bite. It is still my favorite donut to this day!

Sent by Lisa Solomon | 1:15 PM | 8-24-2008

I was a country girl, and we hardly ever got to go to town. But one day, when I was about 10, my sister, great uncle and I found ourselves parked on a city street outside a Spudnut shop where we could see those delicious potato blended doughnuts being made right in front of our faces on a rotating fryer. But we had to wait in the car for Mom and Dad to get back, and wait, and wait, and smell that wonderful fragrance, and stare and drool until it was nearly unbearable. We must have looked pretty pathetic because after 20 minutes of this, a nice waitress came out of the shop with a sack in her hand of fresh Spudnuts and came over to the car and just gave them to us! I will always remember how good those Spudnuts were and how joyous the occasion of unexpected generosity. It doesn't get any better than that for a 10 year old, free doughnuts!

Sent by Connie Richardson | 1:19 PM | 8-24-2008

I grew up on the east coast. There were Dunkin' Donuts everywhere... Boston Creme, chocolate glazed, and oh, mercy... pistachio! You know, the green, glazed donut that had a day-glow green cake inside, my favorite. Well, now I live in Portland, OR. There is (was)only one Dunkin' Donuts in Portland, and it was
waaay across town. I did not even know there was one here in Portland, until I became pregnant. All of a sudden I had to have a Dunkin' Donuts pistachio donut. I wanted one so badly that
I went online to see, perchance if there
might be one here...
when a Portland location showed on the screen, I cried tears of joy, grabbed my keys, and drove all the way across the town. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was quivering with anticipation. I walked in, looked at the selection, closed my eyes tight, looked again,
no pistachio! What!
This was honestly one of the first times in my life when I thought that I might understand how someone might lose their mind, go off the deep end, and worst case scenario, do something terrible. The whole twinkie defense made sense.

I took a deep breath, and through clenched teeth, ordered 1 Boston creme, and two chocolate cake donuts, rushed out of the shop, head hung, shoulders tensed and teeth still clenched. I got into my car, put my forehead to the steering wheel, took another deep breath (the first breath since realizing that my green dreams were not going to come true). I sat there in the parking lot, shoving donuts in my
face, feeling sorry for myself, and composing (in my mind) a very nasty letter to Dunkin' Donuts' head office.

Sent by Jodi Olson | 1:21 PM | 8-24-2008

I grew up in Arizona, on a pleasant, upper middle-class street in northeast Phoenix. Next door to us was an engineer with three children and a stay-at-home wife, which was typical in that neighborhood in the 60's and 70's. However, in the early 70's Motorola had financial problems and laid off a number of employees, including our next-door neighbor. For a number of months he looked for engineering work but couldn't find it, and we began to think that our neighbors might lose their house. Finally, he decided to go in a completely different direction. He bought a struggling Dunkin' Donuts franchise close to Arizona State University in Tempe. At first, the neighbors continued feeling sorry for the family; after all, running a doughnut shop wasn't like being a lawyer, a doctor, or an ad executive. However, as he began to turn the shop around, the tables turned. His Dunkin' Donuts did so well that it received an award for making the most money of any shop west of the Mississippi. That meant that all of his kids had great jobs every summer. And finally our neighbor started leaving work earlier and earlier in the day. By the time my father, an attorney, arrived home at 6 PM, our neighbor had been working in his yard or playing with his model train for three or four hours. Around 5:30, he would go up on the roof, where the family, had built a kind of patio, and wave at the other dads as they came home!

Sent by Patricia Fels | 1:26 PM | 8-24-2008

Doughnuts, what a fun idea for a book and a program! I have several good memories with the doughnut at the center of friendship. I particularly like to revisit a doughnut moment that occurred almost thirty years ago while I was working during summer school at a small liberal arts college in southern Iowa - Graceland. My work study job was cleaning the girl's dorms with other college students and Luella (the main housekeeper.) I was young, spunky,and full of good hearted mischief...Luella was "old" (about my age now...50+!), hard working, and irasciably good natured. My student co-worker, Laurie, and myself, also Lauri, played prank after prank on Luella that hot, mid-western summer - nothing harmful - always silly and Luella tollerated each with her gently irritated laughter and motherly afection for two young girls many, many miles from home. Graceland often openned it's campus for week or weekend activities for the community or state. It was 1979 and Iowa passed a bottle/can refund bill. People attending the activities either didn't know Iowa had passed a bottle bill or weren't used to recycling and the dorm lobby trash was often full of soda cans. We college students looked to those tossed cans as cold hard cash and Laurie and I quickly claimed the responsibility of emptying the "garbage" in that area. Now, to the bond of doughnuts that summer...many, many days we would take the riches of the trash returns and spend it the at the student Swarm Inn (we are/were the Graceland Yellowjackets) for a bakers dozen of homemade, deep-fried doughnuts. We then took our doughnut goods back to the dorms and during break sat with our co-worker pal Luella and a few others savoring each warm delicious bite as we teased and laughed about the most recent good hearted prank and about our lives then in general. As we munched those yummy doughnuts we learned that it is good to be able to laugh gently sometimes at the behavior of oneself and one another. We shared by living it that laughter could and should equal love. Twenty-five years later my husband (whom I'd met while attending Graceland), our children (four of which now attend Graceland) and I returned to campus. My husband works in Admissions. One of the first things I did was begin a search for Luella. I found her working another less phycially challenging job still on campus. She's now truly elderly and remembered me in less time than it takes for a heartbeat. She easily remembers those days long ago full of love, laughter, and the bond of doughnuts. This sounds simple and not so important, but for a young girl 2500 miles from family that summer those doughnuts provided a warm bridge of love as well as a warm delicious bite of pastry for a lasting memory of the value of tolenance, laughter, and kindness.

Sent by Lauri Love | 1:33 PM | 8-24-2008

Someone once told me it takes a week for a doughnut to be cleaned out of your system. Is this true?

Sent by eric solomon | 2:05 PM | 8-24-2008

When my daughter Clare was four, she became angry at my wife and me. She packed a little bag and came to tell us she was running away. When I asked where she was going, she said she was going to Ron and Kathy's, our next door neighbors. Asked why she chose their house as her refuge, she replied, "'Cause they have doughnuts for breakfast every Saturday morning!"

Sent by Loyd Allen | 3:14 PM | 8-24-2008

On the subject of donuts and coffee, I think back to the fifties and sixties when Chock Full of Nuts reigned supreme. As advertised, their coffee was heavenly. However, there was also a nutted cream cheese sandwich on a delicious wheat bread which along with the donut and coffee made for a delightful lunch stop. The was no variety of donuts but the one they served left nothing to be desired. It was made with whole wheat, without a glaze or sugar coating and it had a crust. Although, I usually ordered only one, I was always tempted to go for a second. Closing their stores was a loss to all of us.

Sent by Martin H. Gingold | 3:50 PM | 8-24-2008

both my grandfather and my father made the most delicious home made donuts that the thought of still makes my mouth water...i think i could still sit down and eat a dozen...be damned my gall bladder!

Sent by karen eshleman | 3:51 PM | 8-24-2008

I have a recipe for donuts, or 'Oeliboelen' that makes delicious, cakey, nutmeg and cinnamon flecked, deep fried donuts. The morning my daughter was to be born just over 30 years ago, my husband and I decided to pass the time by whipping up a batch. When I got home with the baby 5 days later, the pan of oil, the brown paper bag for draining the donuts, and most of the donuts were still there on the counter! So we spent our first day with the baby cleaning up the kitchen!

Sent by M. Allen | 6:13 PM | 8-24-2008

I look like a donut eater, but generally am not. Our family had a weekly Dunkin Donut ritual, with me buying an apple fritter for my wife, who stands 5'11" and weighs 120 lbs., and something chocolately and gooey for our son, who luckily takes after his mom. Once, over a decade into our Sunday ritual, I made the trip alone to get the donuts. For some reason, our son wanted a bagel that morning. When I ordered, the clerk nodded and said, "ah, trying something new today."

When I noted that the order was for my wife and son -- that I simply like the coffee -- I got that look that guys like me have seen throughout adulthood, where everyone figures they're playing along with the fat guy.

Now, we're all in Arizona, which made me laugh after hearing your story about how Dunkin Donuts plans to take over the Phoenix market. They might want to start by bringing apple fritters back to their shelves -- my wife is still hungry for them.

Sent by Barry Spiegel | 7:06 PM | 8-24-2008

My grandfather lived the last few years of his wonderful, long life with my mother and father in Georgia. They loved to travel, but he was no longer able to accompany them, so he spent a week with my family in Tennessee for at least two summers. Granddaddy loved doughnuts!! My two preschoolers thought they had died and gone to heaven when we went to Krispy Kreem EVERY DAY with "other granddaddy with a bald head", for a morning snack of any doughnut they wanted out of that fragrant and colorful case. The expeience was nutrition of a nurturing kind and the memory is precious.

Sent by Rebekah Robertson | 7:16 PM | 8-24-2008

Down in New Orleans we have Tastee Donuts. In 1990, I had been working for an Oil Services Company based in Windsor, England, and the Base Manager's Secretary admitted to having a sweet tooth for Tastee's glazed donuts. I brought her two dozen donuts through Customs at Gatwick, where I was fully searched by two agents, bags, pants, donuts and all. When questioned as to what they were, I respondeded "Glazed Donuts", not being understood at all by either agent. When further interogated, I blurted out that they were pastries, then, as they both licked their fingers of the excess icing I added frantically that "That's where the LSD 25 was hidden!!" This is a good way of being held for 48 hours regardless of domicile.

Sent by Leonard Landry | 7:48 PM | 8-24-2008

I have two donut memories: the first is from vacationing at my grandparents' house in Maine. My French-Canadian grandmother was--for the most part-- a terrific baker, but her doughnuts were like lead: we had to twist them in bowls of sugar to make them palatable, and, in a taste test, we could not tell the chocolate from the plain.
My second donut memory is from college. My friend Mitty would come to my room at around 3 a.m. to sing, "Susaan--Donuts." I would emerge and we would eat. Once, however, she called, "Susan--poetry" and we read from the Complete Works of EE Cummings that she had stolen from the library. I gained ten pounds and remained an English major.
I sometimes teach Cummings, Mitty is still my friend, but the donuts--not so much.

Sent by susan sullivan | 8:09 PM | 8-24-2008

One summer I worked for Winchell's Donuts. While the boss was away, I thought I would help him out by frying up a tray of raised donuts that were sitting in the proofing box awaiting his return. Later, when he saw my efforts, instead of praise, he took one of the donuts and squeezed as hard as he could extracting almost 1/4 cup of grease. The donuts had raised too much, absorbed too much grease and the whole batch had to be discarded. So much for my expertise!!

Sent by Kathy Essex | 8:38 PM | 8-24-2008

My five-year-old daughter goes to church occasionally with my parents, and they always have donuts after the service. My mother knows full well that donuts are the reason their granddaughter comes, and Mom says when she was young she went to church for the donuts, too. At my daughter's Catholic preschool, they made a project with the children's handprints forming a cross, and asked what they were thankful for. Other children said they were thankful for parents, friends, God, etc. My daughter's answer: "A chocolate donut with sprinkles."

Sent by Janean Schmidt | 8:43 PM | 8-24-2008

When I lived in New Orleans from 1973-75, I used to love to go to Morning Call in the French Quarter for beignets and rich chicory coffee (cafe au lait) as opposed to the more popular and still standing Cafe du Monde. It was a more intimate homey place. The Morning Call closed in 1974 at the French market location and was moved intact to the suburbs in Metairie, where it became more "commercial" and far less "charming." Beignets are the famous New Orleans doughnuts, but my most favorite doughnut which I still crave from my two years in New Orleans came from a little bakery named Picou's on the far end of the French Quarter near Desire and Esplanade. Going to Picou's was an adventure. The reward was worth the risk. You had to go there at night to get hot glazed, freshly baked donuts. This was in the 70's and it was way before Krispy Kreme became famous for a similar product. As the violence in the area increased, you no longer could walk up to the counter to order your donuts.... You had to pass your payment through a revolving window in a bullet-proof glass barrier, and your doughnuts would be sent your way through the same turntable. Despite the danger, and despite the fame of beignets, Picou's hot glazed doughnuts stand out in my mind alongside the other delicacies I was blessed to consume those many years ago in New Orleans. I would be curious to know if Picou's made it through the years and especially through Katrina.

Sent by Rabbi Jerry Kane, Las Cruces, New Mexico | 8:46 PM | 8-24-2008

I remember when my sister, a friend, and I, as teenagers, would buy a dozen donuts when the Dunkin Donuts first opened in our hometown of Peekskill, N.Y. and proceeding to eat four each in short order. Now, although I love them, I only have them when someone brings them to work. Calories don't count when...

The main story is an overdoing it story that involved only one donut. About ten years ago I had just dropped off my husband at the Eugene,OR airport, and it was only 6:30am. I decided to treat myself after having had to get up so unnaturally early, and I bought an apple fritter and coffee at the Dunkin Donuts just down the road from the airport. That thing was huge, and it lasted the whole one and a half hour drive home to Roseburg! I did not feel hungry at all until a full 12 hours later! I have not had an apple fritter since.

Sent by Jeri Frank | 9:05 PM | 8-24-2008

200 Dozen Donuts

In 1980 my daughter Jill and I were living on a strict shoestring budget in a one-bedroom walk-up in Greenbelt, MD. Jill was a senior in high school and played bassoon in the band and orchestra. They had been invited to participate in a music festival in Bermuda in the spring. We were financially unable to pay for the trip so Jill was completely reliant on the school's fundraising activity: selling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. She calculated exactly how many dozen doughnuts she would need to pay for the trip -- a total of 600! The group was planning four selling weekends. Jill ordered 10 dozen the first Saturday to test the waters and had a successful weekend, selling her entire order. She took the plunge for the next weekend, naively ordering 200 dozen doughnuts.

She didn't mention how many she had ordered and that was a good thing since as a single mom, I would have taken the cautionary approach. I don't think she actually realized just how many doughnuts it was until she loaded the car and she came home in shock. The car was filled to the ceiling-- the seats, the floor, the trunk -- with boxes and boxes of doughnuts! Driving the car down the road elicited honks and catcalls from people seeing her loaded vehicle.

She was still naively enthusiastic until after two hours she'd only sold three dozen. At that point, she came home in tears of panic and we had a big pep talk and developed a plan of action. First, we called all of our friends who enthusiastically rallied round her with cheers and suggestions. They all bought doughnuts, filling their freezers with dozens of boxes. They also suggested she contact local churches and offer a discount for their Sunday morning coffee hours. Jill spent that Saturday contacting churches, organizations and going door to door selling her doughnuts. When the sun went down, she went home, picked up the phone book and cold-called the residents of our town, asking them to buy a box of day-old Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for 50 cents. She spent the next day delivering those doughnuts, meeting churches and selling door-to-door.

At the end of the weekend, Jill had sold all 200 dozen (thanks in large part to her friends deep pockets and large freezers). She hadn't earned all the money she needed, but she had enough to pay for the doughnuts and contribute a bit towards her trip fund. The band director said, "I didn't think you could do it" and was so impressed he gave her a scholarship for the balance of the fee and she joined her friends for the trip to Bermuda. Our car smelled like donuts for months after that and to this day we enjoy using "200 Dozen Donuts" as a good rallying cry when a task we face seems insurmountable.

Footnote: Jill still plays bassoon and eats doughnuts.

Sent by Sharon Gilbert | 9:30 PM | 8-24-2008

I was visiting Santa Cruz Boardwalk this weekend and saw the deep fried Twinkie stand - a fairly common sight these days on the Funway. No I did not eat one. But, I immediately thought: "This is just a cream filled doughnut." Would a deep fried Twinkie qualify as a doughnut?

Sent by Rob Rynski | 9:40 PM | 8-24-2008

How long do the big US donut shops keep donuts on the shelves? I'm in Seoul, South Korea, and Dunkin and Krispie Kreme both seem to have terribly stale donuts, no matter when I get them.

Sent by Sam | 9:56 PM | 8-24-2008

Doughnuts were once part of my diet and exercise program. I walked three miles to have two non-glazed cake doughnuts and a cup of a black coffee at a Shipley's Doughnuts in central Texas. Then I walked three miles back home. Calories taken in: 400. Calories expended: 600. Breakfast was a minus 200 calorie treat. Unfortunately I later moved to an apartment with a doughnut shop down the street.

Sent by Mark Crocker | 11:15 PM | 8-24-2008

I was at one time a technician for a photocopier company, Savin. One of our technicians was repeatedly called to an account with complaints about sticky glass on the copier. Each time he went back, he would clean the glass, but repeated calls continued. Eventually, he and a supervisor went to the account early to observe how the equipment was being used and discovered that somebody had lined doughnuts up on the glass and was using the copier exposure lamps to heat them up. Mystery solved!

Sent by Bruce England | 11:20 PM | 8-24-2008

Each year, in the fall, my college celebrates "Tinker Day" a day off from classes when the entire community climbs a near by "mountain" more like a large rock and celebrates the school and the senior class. Did I fail to mention it is a women's college? It is a surprise holiday and thus lots of time is spent speculating about when it will land. Tinker Day morning includes donuts from Krispy Kreme, did I mention it is a women's college? College lore suggests that when the local Krispy Kreme is up earlier than usual making donuts lots more donuts then obviously the next day is Tinker Day. The really rabid to know first, would spend countless hours driving around Roanoke, VA to determine whether or not the next day would be the day! Just mentioning Krispy Kreme donuts ALWAYS reminds me of college.

Sent by Julia Alling | 9:32 AM | 8-25-2008

Living in New Orleans, it was a big thing to go to Krispy Kreme in Metairie for fresh donuts at night. The line of cars would often be down the road, and it became a social event. One Friday night, a friend and I decided we were in the mood for Krispy Kreme's delicious freshly glazed donuts. When we got there, however, we found that the line was so long we didn't feel like waiting. Instead, we went across to the non-chain, less-popular donut shop (where there was NO line). I went through the drive-through and ordered a glazed donut, which the teller then handed me with her bare hands. Of course I didn't eat it but it was hilarious, and I always think of that. (I also learned WHY there was a line at Krispy Kreme and not across the street...life lessons.)

Sent by Colleen Bowen | 2:08 PM | 8-25-2008

Leonard Landry's entry is hilarious

Sent by brian freeman | 3:21 PM | 8-25-2008

I have a short story about how my Mom, twin sister and I took on the local traveling donut salesman (He came around in a Studebaker truck with products from Utica, New York each week)
My twin and I grew up in a small town called Dannemora, New York. In 1956 our family just had another child, money was tight and the rent hadn't been paid for two months. Mom said, "No Malone Fair this year because we don't have any extra money". "Maybe next year". This was a terrible blow, as we looked forward to this fair all year long. We told her, hey, let's sell donuts to the neighbors. Your donuts are so good, I bet people would like them. So we did!
For the next 4 weekends my twin and I got up a 4 am to bake the donuts. We packaged them in nice white bags and put them in our red wagon and went off down the main street of Dannemora selling donuts. I took one house and Rinda took the next. We were shy at first but when the donuts started selling we got pretty savvy at our pitch. By the second week we had quite a business going so my Mom said, "How about Maple Sticks" so off we went with a new product. One Saturday the Mayor of our town bought all our maple sticks and we were now onto Maple donuts. The only mishap we had was when Mom let our pet bird out of the birdcage and he sat on the side of the deep donut grease skillet. His tail was set on fire and he flew around the kitchen until his tail fire went out in a puff of smoke.
By the first of August, Rinda and I had 20 dollars each for the fair and we called it quits. The whole family went happily off to the Franklin County Fair in Malone. On the second week of August, the donut salesman drove into our driveway and approached the door. Before he could knock on the door, my Mom opened the door and said, "Sorry we make our own donuts". He said, " Yes, I know, I haven't sold a darn donut in this town for a month and I'm hoping you have gone out of business". "If not, I'm going to have to get a couple of adorable twins to help me sell my donuts". My Mom apologized, bought a dozen donuts and said goodbye.
Rinda and I get a chance to remember those days a lot as our Mom has Alzheimer's and this is one of her favorite stories to tell over and over and over again. If only we hadn't stopped we might be the Krispie Kreme Twins today.

Sent by Liinda Smith Reh | 3:30 PM | 8-25-2008

I am the Mitty of Susan's story. The sugary tale of late night donut eating is true. But I only borrowed the eecummings book. The poetry was lighter than air, the donuts not so much.

Sent by Mitty Shaughnessy | 4:51 PM | 8-25-2008

Mullins' realization that donuts were worthy of study while in the UK reminded me of my most startling donut discovery.

My wife and I were in Dingle, at the western edge of Ireland, late last September. While walking through the small fishing village one afternoon we were struck dumb by a small metal sign in front of a small general store.

The sign featured the Tim Horton's Donuts logo that is familiar to anyone from Canada or the US side of the border. As former longtime Buffalo-area residents, we long for some Tim-Bits, the small donut-hole-sized treats, and especially some of Tim's coffee. We snapped a photo of the sign to send to friends, who were delighted to know that Tim Horton's impact was international.

But how in the world would people at the edge of Ireland know about Tim? Clearing skies kept us from finding out. I prefer to think it was simply donut kismet.

Sent by Barry Spiegel | 5:39 PM | 8-25-2008

In my vast personal experience, nothing compares to the spudnut I enjoyed in the 1950's and 1960's in my home town of Clinton, Iowa. Oh my, were they good! Fortunately, my parents believed that spudnuts should be a regular part of our family diet. As a child, I thought all donuts were spudnuts. When the shop owner Brad retired to Albuquerque, I sadly learned otherwise. In our travels, I and other members of my family have informally been on a donut quest ever since. And, yes, one can still find a spudnut shop here and there, but the donuts aren't made the same way. I feel a painful yearning in my chest as, in my memory, I savor that culinary wonder.

Sent by Gary Munson | 6:08 PM | 8-25-2008

As a Maine Corps 2nd Lt. in the occupation of Japan following WWII my platoon was assigned patrol duty away from our battalion. In the course of our work we became acquainted with a local physician who invited me and my sergeant to his home for an evening of classical music. Upon our arrival the good doctor announced that his wife had prepared a special treat for us: freshly baked "American donuts!" They were beautiful and, indeed, special. We eagerly accepted her offering only to discover that the donuts had been fried in fish oil! We tried valiantly to maintain our enthusiasm and ate not one, but two, each, without gagging. Otherwise it was a delightful evening.

Sent by James Short | 6:09 PM | 8-25-2008

At the age of 8, in my hometown of Syracuse, NY, there was a chain of small independent super markets famous for their meats and baked goods. On the way to the movies, my friends and I would enter the rear door of the market near the bakery department. The closing at noon would prompt the bakery to discard all unsold baked goods. But...if we arrived by 11:45, we could purchase a whole shopping bag full of doughnuts for 25 cents. With each of us holdling one handle of the shoppping bag we exited the main front door and went to the "Happy Hour" Theatre, where we promptly consumed the entire contents of the bag while watching Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Charlie Chan. I still get bilious when I think of it!!

Sent by Guy Pagano | 9:41 PM | 8-25-2008

Home Made is still best. I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where we made doughnuts now and again. Sometimes raised doughnuts, but I think we all preferred "old-fashioned" cake doughnuts made from the recipe in the hand-typed cook book that my mother's mother gave her when she married. I associate home-made doughnuts with rainy autumn weekends. We would have them fresh for dessert on Saturday, and then on Sunday, we might have them topped with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce for doughnut sundaes. I've never talked to anybody else who has ever heard of a doughnut sundae - too bad - they're wonderful.

But the doughnuts have to be home-made.

Sent by Andrea | 10:40 PM | 8-25-2008

Early in my doughnut eating career I soon established that I was the one kid everyone wanted to beat!! I had an unerring skill of being able to eat plenty (one after the other!) without licking my lips! I am from a leafy UK backwater, and being so young, I was unable to show off my skills globally! However, needless to say, I am comfortable that no other being on this planet could get near me for leaving the moist sugary content on ones lips, post doughnut fest, like I!!! There should be a competition! Come on NPR, sort it! This could be my time!!

Sent by Neil Reaney | 5:56 AM | 8-26-2008

Damn! Another fantasy research project wrested from my grasp! At one time Ethel's, on the bowery blvd. of San Pedro, had the perfect donut - delicately crisply golden out, tender moist crumb in. But then Mr. Donut, Fort Wayne Indiana, edged out Ethel. Both toppled from the Eiffel Tower, where my son chose a chocolate donut over scaling the French icon. Sinful and sublime!

Sent by Mary Wieland | 12:45 PM | 8-26-2008

My mother was known for her donuts. They went to church bake sales, were requested by neighbors and were shipped regularly to an out-of-state grandchild. Growing up, I helped with donut production, dropping the batter into the hot oil and pulling out the golden rings. The last time I made them was for the relatives at ma's wake.

My children have their own donut tradition. Every Sunday we stop to get donuts after church. It started out as a bribe to keep some control during Mass. Now it is simply a Sunday morning requirement.

One Sunday, I wasn't able to stop for donuts. I kept promising to get to the store during the day, but it didn't happen. I offered to make a cake, but it wasn't acceptable. It was cold outside and I was tired and tired of the pestering, so I blurted out, "How about if I make donuts?"

With only store bought Sunday donuts and mini-donuts at the state fair as reference, they thought I was just stalling. Donuts made at home -- they didn't believe it until I found ma's recipe written in her own hand. Then I dug out the donut maker in a box with a black grease penned price of 68 cents.

Roman cracked the eggs and I measured the buttermilk. When the oil was hot enough I pushed down on the plunger-like handle. The nutmeg speckled dough plopped in, sank to the bottom and then popped to the surface. Perfect. When both sides were browned just right, I lifted the donuts out to rest on ma's cookie sheets, covered with brown paper bags to absorb the excess oil, just as I did when I was ten.

Soon four children were gathered around the counter, dipping warm donuts in white sugar. They ate one, then another. No one talked. I looked up from frying donuts to savor my very own Norman Rockwell moment and perhaps the revival of a family tradition.

Sent by Joyce Simon | 1:24 PM | 8-26-2008

Having been an avid doughnut head for most of my life with the ability to put several into my mouth at once I found my recent trip to America fascinating. Never before have I been in doughnut paradise as I was walking the streets of New York where I was able to visit the many Dunkin Donut chains that had, in my childhood, been a regular place of sanctuary when walking the dark streets of London. It was absolutely amazing to be able to get my jammy paws on the sweet sticky dough (munchkins being my fav!!)that had been a staple diet of my childhood. Now that we dont have the chain in my hometown anymore with big chains like Asda failing miserably in recreating the calorie intake of the Dunkin Donut it really made my trip worthwhile. I arrived back in the UK 3 kg larger than when I left but 100% happier!! "America runs on dunkin" and so do I!!

Sent by Richard Head | 2:13 PM | 8-26-2008

Fifteen years ago, I was living in Reading, PA, and I had to find any sort of job, just to survive. I ended up in a plastics factory on the north end of town, mainly assembling huge cardboard boxes to contain the vacu-formed plastic items being made there (like dip and nacho bowls for professional sports stadiums and trays for cookies and candies).

My work schedule was weekdays from 3:15 to 11:00 PM, with two breaks: a five-minute break to go to the bathroom and a twenty-minute break for dinner!

There were two dining areas: one for smokers and one for non-smokers (the latter of which was half the size of the former). And there was only one microwave oven per dining area, so I had to heat up my meal with the meals of several others, eat it and digest it within twenty minutes before going back to work! (And the factory was too far away from the nearest fast-food restaurant to eat out at during those twenty minutes.)

One day, I forgot to bring my brown-bagged meal to work. In spite of this development, my boss allowed me to take my dinner break sooner than my fellow co-workers. I was all by myself in the non-smokers dining area, when I saw on one of the tables an opened box of six chocolate-covered 'donettes' (miniature donuts from a factory vending machine, which sold - at the time - for just 60 cents). I was so hungry, I took one of the 'donettes' from the container, ate it, washed it down with some water from a nearby fountain, and returned to work (figuring that no one would notice it was missing, or who would've eaten it).

Forty-five minutes later, while I'm at a fever pitch in assembling the boxes, a female co-worker stopped me in the midst of my labors and asked me to accompany her into the dining area...

Once we got there, she pointed to the box of 'donettes' on the table and asked me quite bluntly, "Did you eat one of MY donuts?!"

Now, I could've just lied to her and said "No, I didn't", but I was a somewhat honest person at the time and said "Yes, I did". But before I could explain why, she went into a tirade, spewing out four-letter words like a trucker during 'rush hour'.

It should be noted that I stood at five feet, six inches tall, while this livid co-worker of mine was literally one head shorter than me. So, there I was, being chewed out by this feminine homunculus over a chocolate-covered pastry (no bigger than putting my thumb and forefinger together to make the 'OK' sign); a pastry which only cost one thin dime! But it didn't end there...

She added insult to injury by taking the box containing the remaining five 'donettes' and throwing them out in the trash - figuring that I'd 'contaminated' them after taking out the first one! (And I never even touched those five!) All that, in spite of the fact that I was willing to reimburse her for the cost of that one small pastry I'd consumed!

I'd almost lost it at that point, and nearly threatened to do her some harm - although she seemed quite capable of kicking my teeth down my throat (even though she was way shorter than me)!

I eventually got let go from this job (for reasons other than the aforementioned incident), but to this day I can never look at a miniature donut (of any flavor) without thinking of that feminine homunculus bitching about her missing 'donette'!

Logically, I'd figured what more could I possibly expect, working in a factory where the men wear earrings and the women are sporting tattoos! :/

Sent by Jed Martinez | 9:05 PM | 8-26-2008

When I was a boy growing up in Concord, Massachusetts all doughnuts came from Sally Ann's - the local bakery on the Mill Dam. They have been my lode star ever since - my hallmark of jelly-doughnut quality. Most American jelly doughnuts aren't very good any more. They are light and airy and flavorless, filled with a little squirt of that funny pink glue that has vague overtones of fruit under the sugar disguise. And they consistently have a strong after-taste of stale cooking oil. But last week (October 2004) I was in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. and the big boss had suggested that I "should be given a medal" for some corporate hors de combat or other and I said "I'd rather have a jelly doughnut". Boy - did she come through. The following week when I had returned home to a small, wet village on the edge of Exmoor in Devon, England a FedEx parcel suddenly turned up. Packed with jelly donuts - or 'jam doughnuts' as the British reasonably insist. And they were terrific! Dredged in either powdered sugar or granulated sugar. Made in a sort of oblong shape with a great bite and texture - and even better taste. AND they have jam inside. Real jam. Lots and lots of real raspberry jam complete with seeds. They were filled end-to-end with jam that actually tasted of an identifiable fruit. Absolutely delicious. I ate all eight! I gather that these doughnuts come from a family run bakery in North Adams, Massachusetts. Kind of out of the way for me just for a doughnut. But, boy, I'm tempted.

Sent by Tuckerman Moss | 3:36 AM | 8-27-2008

I met my husband to be one night in 1975. Along with all the topics we talked about, we discussed the donuts at a local shop and how good they were. Three days later, he showed up at the farm I was working on at the time, donut in hand...I fell in love! After a long, stormy relationship, greatly complicated by both our struggles with alcoholism ( I achieved sobriety in 1979, Jack in 1981) we were married in 1985 in the presence of our families and friends. After the ceremony Jack presented me with a gift...a donut. That donut is in our freezer today!

Sent by Carole Murphy | 7:42 AM | 8-27-2008

Though many of these donut stories are warm and glazed, I have a hot and hazy connection to donuts that still sends a shudder through my body anytime I come across a display of them. On the Harvard cross-country team, donuts were our indulgence. After a long weekend run of 15-20 miles, nothing reinvigorated our depleted bodies better than water and sugar-raised donuts -- the carbs pulsing through our bodies like water crawling up a dried sponge. And it was during one of our many post-workout donut sessions that my teammates and I began to discuss the concept of The Donut Run -- how long would it take a high-performing cross-country runner to eat 20 donuts and then run ten miles? Some guessed it would take 25 minutes to eat the donuts, and then 75 minutes to run the ten miles. Others thought the donuts would go more quickly but that the run would be slower because you'd be carrying the donuts, and of course there was the very real probability that you'd have to pullover to lose the donuts.

For the first few years of college it was just a hypothetical situation, but as I neared the end of my senior year, with my college track career over, and a few days of downtime before graduation, I decided it was time to end the conjecture and give it a try. My friend Eric was delighted to test the ideas, and offered to buy me a lifetime supply of donuts as a reward if I could complete the 20 donuts and the ten miles all in 95 minutes. Since I recognized there was a very strong probability that I wouldn't finish either the donuts or the run, I asked Eric what was in it for me. Offended, he replied, "I'm paying for the 20 donuts."

Well I'll spare most of the gruesome details, but the last three donuts each took three minutes to wash down -- this food I once enjoyed tasted like round sticks of butter. I didn't finish donut number 20 until 38 and a half minutes -- meaning I would have to average 5:45 minute miles to win my lifetime supply of donuts. I finished the run in 94 minutes and 40 seconds and didn't eat a donut again for at least ten years.

Sent by Seth Goldman | 10:33 AM | 8-27-2008

When I was 6, I began taking violin lessons in Amarillo, Texas. One of the things that initially imprinted the importance and enjoyment of these early lessons was that on those days my father would pick me up from school and we would go directly to the local doughnut shop. While there, we talked about the day, about the upcoming lesson, and made each other laugh over glazed chocolate cake doughnuts and milk.
Later, we were lucky to live in Shreveport, Louisiana and one of the first food rituals we developed was hot, huge, terrifically cinnamon-y rolls from Southern Maid. I don't know much about large doughnut chains, but I do know that in my family where food is an important symbol of love and comfort, doughnuts were an essential part of our relationships.

Sent by Stephanie | 12:31 PM | 8-27-2008

My late husband, Dennis R. Getto, the restaurant critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 25 years, was passionate about donuts. Several years ago, when he heard that Krispy Kreme was planning to open its first store in the Milwaukee area, he drove 90-plus miles to the Chicago area to check out the stores there in preparation for his review of the grand opening. Of course he brought home a dozen of the tasty treats which we both consumed in just a few days. Since he had to protect his identity, the cover photo for the story was a picture of Dennis peeking through two glazed donuts.

Dennis was also adjunct professor in the journalism department of the University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee, where he taught feature writing and reporting. He was known as a demanding but entertaining educator whose classes were filled every semester. One of the perennial class projects was to have his students taste samples of various brands of donuts, and then write reviews similar to how he'd write his restaurant reviews. On the day of the class, he'd leave home early to pick up fresh donuts from his favorite bakeries so his students could enjoy the best of the best.

When Dennis found out that he had type 2 diabetes and had to adjust his eating habits, he felt his greatest loss was his ability to enjoy a cake donut with his afternoon cup of tea.

Sent by Marcia Getto | 1:42 PM | 8-27-2008

In 1977, my 14-year old brother had a newspaper route. One Sunday morning, his bike had a flat tire so he woke me up so I could drive him around in our 1968 Volkswagen bug to deliver the paper. As a newly-minted 16-year old driver, I jumped at every opportunity to drive. He convinced me to let him ride on the VW running board while he delivered the papers. We proceeded slowly and had all the papers out by 7 AM. Then, of course, he wanted to get doughnuts for breakfast, and convinced me to let him stay on the running board while we drove to the doughnut shop, about a mile away. But, of course, the people most likely to be at a doughnut shop at 7 AM on a Sunday morning are......cops. So, we pull into the driveway, and, sure enough, there are 4 police cars. I'm busted, and had to take my mom to juvie court. My brother and I both survived, and laugh about it today (although I definitely don't recommend allowing teenagers to ride on running boards to a doughnut shop!)

Sent by Kathy | 4:14 PM | 8-27-2008

There were 627 "donuts" in Vietnam between 1965 and 1972, we "Donut Dollies" of the American Red Cross. It was our job was to bring a touch of home to the combat zone. Invited by the military we served mostly yearlong tours where we'd visit the troops in fire support bases, field hospitals, base camps and landing zones arriving there by helicopter, river craft, jimmy, jeep or 6-by.

In fact, it was from our American Red Cross sisters during and after the Korean conflict that we got that nickname, "Donut Dolly." With the help of portable donut machines (which would not have withstood the heat of Vietnam) they served the troops from field to shore sometimes turning out as many as 20,000 donuts a day when the troop ships were in.

In Vietnam we managed to inherit the well-earned moniker "Donut Dolly" without ever having served or seen an actual donut during our entire tour.

This Veteran's Day is the 15th Anniversary of the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

That's my donut story! Thanks for asking.

Sent by J. Holley Watts | 4:45 PM | 8-27-2008

just got back from japan..in tokyo krispy kreme is king...a long well behaved que is directed by workers in sharp looking kripsy kreme outfits..a large digital time sign shows precise minutes waiting for service...longest wait I observed..45 minutes..shortest 16 minutes...small samples of k.k. doughtnuts are handed out to waiting customers....

Sent by mary dempsey | 6:29 PM | 8-27-2008

I've loved Krispy Kreme Donuts since I was a little kid, but when I was pregnant with my second child, I developed a strong bond with KK. Whenever the "HOT DONUTS" neon sign was on, I would pull into the drive-thru and order just one hot glazed donut. After a while, and as my belly grew, the nice lady at the window started charging me for just one and giving the "baby in the belly" a free donut. Even now that my baby is four years old, I feel pangs of sentimentality whenever I drive by Krispy Kreme - cravings for a perfectly hot & delicious donut are like phantom baby kicks inside the womb. Thank you Krispy Kreme for eliciting these wonderful, visceral feelings like nothing else could.

Sent by Fleming Cunningham Lunsford | 9:16 PM | 8-27-2008

When I brought a box of Krispy Cremes to a teachers' meeting, a colleague asked, "Why does Krispy Creme only give you ten doughnuts? When I order bagels at the bakery, I get thirteen of them." Turns out her husband had been regularly bringing Krispy Cremes home for the family, eating two on the drive, and explaining that Krispy Creme only provided ten doughnuts per dozen.

Sent by Bernie Mathes | 7:52 PM | 8-28-2008

Your donut story reminded me of one summer that I spent searching out "great donuts" with my young daughter. We would drive to different cities to find ones that were featured. My favorite was "Lou's Donut Museum" in San Jose, CA. They were made with potato flour. For the record, I am not overweight, and can't digest donuts anymore. Donuts are such a comical food, and emmisaries of good will. You don't have to eat them, but there they are calling from their pink or white box.

Sent by Laurie V. | 2:47 PM | 8-29-2008

The son of a local donut shop owner goes to school with my youngest daughter and will occasionally collect money from his classmates and bring in fresh donuts for them the next morning. Last year, my daughter gave some of her lunch money to the boy and bought ME my favorite donut, a maple bar. She walked in after school, asked me of close my eyes and hold out my hands, placed a small bag in my hand and proudly told me, "I brought you your favorite!" It was a maple bar, squashed absolutely flat, having been in her jacket pocket all day! I dutifully peeled it off the stained paper bag and we ate every bite!

Sent by Kelly | 11:51 AM | 8-30-2008

When we got married and went on our honeymoon in Canada, I was pleased to find a familiar sight--a Dunkin' Donuts store. I loved the chocolate, but my new wife adored Black Raspberry donuts, so our dozen included both. Later that night, I found myself being kicked and hearing my wife moaning, "you ate my Black Raspberry donut...get away." I obeyed and went to the other room! After we both woke up, I explained why I had left during the night, and my wife of course found the donut, safe and sound in the box. I guess she "forgave" me, even in her nightmare, cause we just celebrated our 37th anniversary. And we still laugh about the black raspberry donut.

Sent by Andy Berner | 1:13 PM | 8-30-2008

I must have been about four when Mom first took me to see the donut machine in the window of Pope's Donuts in Eugene, Oregon. Enveloped in that wonderful deep-fried aroma which, even in 1946, enticed prospective customers, we watched as a chain of raw donuts were carried into the bubbling fat, emerged golden brown, then were sprinkled or frosted. My favorites were the cinnamon-sugar.

Sent by Diana Moss | 8:39 PM | 8-30-2008

Our first son was introduced to only very healthy foods early in his life, so when he had his first donut he exclaimed in his little voice, "That's the best bagel I 'eh-vah' had." (Of course, our second son enjoyed donuts before he had a full set of teeth!) Since it's Labor Day weekend our family is bemoaning the fact that our favorite local donut shop is closed for vacation!

Sent by Caroline Ott | 9:14 AM | 8-31-2008

In our small Kansas town the local donut shop had blueberry donuts only on Wednesdays. My dear friend Suzanne and I used to get them early on Wednesday mornings though middle and high school.They were not her favorite but were mine for sure. When I went off to college and she stayed to attend Jr. college in our home town, I was homesick, Suzannesick, and blueberry donutsick. On my birthday that year, Suzanne bought a dozen blueberry donuts, packed them carefully while they were still warm, and mailed them to me. For a college girl she wasn't that bright I guess! Of course by the time they arrived at college for me, it was a damp box of purple, doughy, mush. It was, however, still the sweetest donut memory I have!

Sent by Rags Smith | 11:08 AM | 8-31-2008

I have a not-so-sweet donut story. A few years ago my husband and I stayed at a hotel in MO for Thanksgiving while visiting our son who was living in that town. When we received the bill on our credit card, we had been billed for two nights even though we only stayed for one. I called the motel and told them , also mentioning that we planned to stay there again for Christmas. The person I spoke to said that the billing problem would be rectified when we came at Christmas. When we arrived, I was told at check in, when I explained the error, that there was nothing they could do about it. I was pretty irritated, but I told them to please contact the manager, since it was just "help" there for the holiday, and was confident that it would be taken care of. However, the next morning when I inquired, I was again told that there was nothing they could do about it. We needed to pay for the night we did not stay. I asked why they thought we had remained for a second night, and was told we left something in the room. When I asked to see the lost and found, I was told there was nothing in it. Of course, I told them that I was not missing anything, but if I had left something in the room, surely they kept it a few weeks. Again, I said for them to contact the manager, and although irritated, left thinking that it would be taken care of. That next morning when I went to check out I again inquired and was told there was nothing they could do about it. I am not sure if I was overly tired or what, but something in me snapped. After giving the clerk a peice of my mind, I proceded to the continental breakfast bar and began packing my arms with all the donuts and sweet rolls they had, until they were literally spilling around me like blops of lava from an angry volcano. I shrieked to anyone who would listen, "Let's see if I can carry $80 worth of donuts out of this place, since they are intent on stealing my money!" Then I marched out leaving a trail of baked goods back to my room, where I toed the door with my foot until my husband opened. WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU DONE?was his surprised reaction. It really is not like me to lose it as I had that morning. I was actually aghast at my behavior as I looked back on it over the next few days. The following week I had some billing problems with the hospital in our home town. They owed me money as I had overpaid a bill, but they kept billing me for the amount. I had tried to call, but no one was returning my calls. I was complaining to my husband, and he said," Maybe you should go down there in person." I replied that there would be no one in the billing department on a Saturday, and he said," I know, but maybe they have donuts!"

Sent by Rags Smith | 11:27 AM | 8-31-2008

Our family vacationed at a small remote resort in the northern woods of Wisconsin when I was small. Ten log cabins on a beautiful remote lake. One of the highlights of the week was when the donut truck would roll into the resort on Wednesday blasting it's horn to announce it's arrival ( ***** **). we all run out to be first-in-line to get a good selection of donuts. One week the truck was late and everyone was pacing, waiting for their sugar-treat, when all of the sudden the familiar horn blasted the silence. Overjoyed..The whole population came running out...but...NO TRUCK. Everybody milled around for awhile in confusion and in grumbling disgust went back to their cabins to wait again. My 12 year old brother fearfully crawled out of our 1955 Ford where he had been hiding, after blasting the donut truck signal.

Sent by nadeen | 8:18 AM | 9-1-2008

When I was a child on Sunday mornings, if you did not want to get up to go to church my Mom would tell us that the family was going to stop for donuts after church. No donuts for anyone that did not get up and go to church. Praise the Lord! I never missed a service if donuts were involved.

Sent by Caroline | 11:56 AM | 9-1-2008

When I was a kid my favorite donuts were "Glazed Raised" from the Helms Bakery trucks in L.A. (5 cents in the 1950s!). As an adult my favorite has been the old fashioned buttermilk donut. However, they typically only come plain, glazed, or with that chocolate that doesn't taste like chocolate. For years I told my wife that they should make one with the orange glaze used on the cake donuts. About 25 years ago she got a local donut shop to make a 6 piece minimum custom run of orange glazed old fashioned buttermilk donunts for my birthday. They were a total surprise, and are still the best donuts I've ever had!

Sent by David Starkman | 5:03 PM | 9-1-2008

Glazed Donuts
One wintery Sunday, when I was 15, I came home from a full day of skiing, ate a quick dinner and went to a youth group meeting at a member's house. Sitting on the coffee table near me was a tray of donuts---over-sized donuts of all varieties.

Perched near the table, I watched as everyone else enjoyed their favorite chocolate, powdered sugar, white frosting with chocolate sprinkles, or jelly-filled donuts. I wasn't supposed to eat donuts or any pastry or sweets because I have diabetes; in fact, I'd been diabetic for about three years, and hadn't had anything but dietetic candies, and the usual life-savers to treat low-blood sugars. I probably had a half-cup of ice-cream, but nothing so grand as a banana split or a milk-shake. I certainly hadn't had a donut in those three years.

As the meeting progressed, my resolve cracked and weakened. All my favorite chocolate and powdered sugar donuts were gone. Left on the tray were about half-a-dozen glazed donuts---my least favorite kind of donut because they were so sticky.

After about an hour, or so, I couldn't stand it any longer. I ate one glazed donut. It was wonderful. By the meeting's end, I'd eaten five, mega-sized, glazed-to-perfection donuts! They were the best apres ski treat I ever had.

P.S.: You may be interested to know that I'm now a registered dietitian; I can't remember the last time I had a donut, or had one that I enjoyed so much.

Sent by Shelley McGhee | 1:25 PM | 9-11-2008

Over the last couple weeks, I have been unable to find buttermilk donuts at the Dunkin Donuts in the loop near where I work. I keep asking. They say they haven't had them for a couple of weeks, but can't tell me why. Is it just downtown, or everywhere?

Sent by Jackbox | 4:36 PM | 9-26-2008

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