Around the World in 80(ish) Doughnuts for National Doughnut Day!
(Image via Flickr)
Forget love: doughnuts are the international language. And they should be celebrated! Though a holiday like “National Doughnut Day” generally implies we should only care about American ones, when it comes to doughnuts, it’s all about spreading the love far and wide. And in turn, everyone else should also share their doughnuts with us on this, our joyous holiday. It’s only fair. If you went on a doughnut expedition (or pilgrimage, depending on your feelings) around the world, what would you see and eat? Here are some of the doughy morsels you shouldn’t miss.
The Good ol’ USA: Since the National Doughnut Day thing started in the USA, we should start our tour there! Head into grocery stores or actual doughnut shops to taste the wonderful fried dough in varying shapes, sizes and flavors. I personally like plain hole-in-the-middle doughnuts with plain glaze, but maybe you’re the type that doesn’t want holes in their pastries and prefers them to be creme-filled.
Or maybe you like bite-sized and powdered. Heck, maybe you want them chocolate-flavored with extra chocolate icing and sprinkles. Whatever your preference is, you’ll find it somewhere. And you must, because, as Krispy Kreme says, you (the consumer) are “the center of the doughnut.” You fill in that void. (d’aww) Feeling extra adventurous? Try a Luther Burger (that’s a burger with doughnuts for buns, for the uninitatied and hungry).
Berlin (Germany): While you’re touring Berlin, take a break from zoos and memorials and pop into a bakery for a powdered delight with plum filling. Or chocolate-flavored. Or lemon. Again, plenty of variations, and if Katherine Sacks on Serious Eats is to be believed, Germans don’t play around with their sugary treats, with options ranging from sugar-dusted to marmalade-stuffed to French (?) style crullers.
Russia: Feeling tired from walking the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg? Find yourself some Ponchiki, or Russian doughnut holes. These are ideal for those of us who just like to toss back some quick bites while we hassle over a travel guidemap or fumble with a camera. Just make sure you’re wearing gloves so you don’t get grease stains over everything. Need to shave a few days out of your global itinerary? Here’s a recipe to make them at home.
Africa: Let’s take a break from the too sugary-sweet doughnuts of the world, and have some yummy fried dough goodness that is great for breakfast, or to accompany some kinds of foods at any time of the day. Mahamri, rather than being round with a hole in the middle, or stuffed with jelly, are puffy and triangular-shaped. As with Russia, in case you need to break a few days off our doughnut pilgrimage (or just really prefer experimenting at home), here’s another rad-looking recipe.
Thailand: You’ve heard of Thai doughnuts (real name: Pa Thong Ko) before, right? These bite-sized delights are sometimes the bane of Japanese and Chinese restaurant owners, since they are basically…well, from Thailand, and not Japan or China. Though in Thailand you’ll find more “traditional” doughnuts at bakeries, these are really where it’s at. I think what does it is the whole condensed milk dip.
Japan: What Japan lacks in a technical traditional doughnut it makes up for in “best of show.” If you have any sort of sweet tooth, you’ll want to go to Japan just to experience the many kinds of sweets and the various way they are decorated/presented. Doughnuts are no exception, and though it started out in the USA, Mister Donut is probably the most distinguished doughnut chain in the country. Just take a look at a recent campaign of theirs featuring Hello Kitty and tell me you aren’t getting cavities. I’ve personally even made a video of myself eating these treats, so if you’re feeling the need to live vicariously…
Again, this list is only comprised of a few highlights, and is not by any means a complete itinerary of all the stops that doughnut enthusiasts should book into their trip around the globe. Feel free to add your own stops in between. Oh, and get plenty of exercise. And brush your teeth.