I learned two things today in my hunt for a cream filled donut on National Cream Filled Donut Day. And to be honest, to call it a hunt is a bit of a euphemism. I really just drove around the corner to Dunkin’ Donuts. Sure, I could have gone on an actual hunt for a special donut. I could have gone to the gourmet donut places like PVD or Knead in Providence. I could have checked out the new donut shop in Newport, Liberty Donuts. I could have even gone to the two classic and heralded Rhode Island donut shops: Allie’s and my personal fave Ma’s. Instead, just as many New Englanders are apt to do, I went to Dunks. It was a choice of ease and convenience. The Dunkin’ Donuts by our house is a good one too. Nothing special about it other than the crew that seems to crank through long lines with happy smiles and chatter. There’s always a gaggle of regulars inside too (all of whom seem to have unusually large beards) and that gives the place character. I parked my car and then went inside so I could get the overview of what donuts they had available.
The first thing I learned today was that the glazed stick donut has returned to Dunkin’ Donuts. This has been an issue of great concern for me over the last few weeks and I’m not even sure if the rumors of the glazed stick’s demise were true. All I know is that it’s my favorite donut there and when I ordered one at the drive thru back in August, I was told that they were discontinued. I let out an audible gasp that amplified through the drive thru headset. The glazed stick gives you the density of a cake donut and the sweet joy of glaze all in one phallic hunk. It’s basically a cruller and apparently, those are being phased out. But today, they were back. They had a whole tray of them in a prominent spot. I’m not sure if this was a change of heart by the company overlords who had a mea culpa and brought it back or if it was a regional decision by our local franchisee owner trying to please his demanding customer base. But they were back. I wasn’t ordering one today though. Today’s donut had to be cream filled. I stared up at the wall of donuts looking for what to have and the one that caught my eye was sitting right next to the glazed stick. It was a vanilla cream filled donut. My selection was made and I was ready to go binge in celebration.
The second thing I learned today is that a vanilla cream filled donut is a terrible food to eat while driving. First, let’s talk about the cream (which was delightful – nice with strong vanilla flavor which paired nicely with the soft, flaky insides of the donut). I’m no physicist but if I fill something with cream through a tiny hole, then I apply pressure on the object as a whole (biting down on it), the cream inside will need to escape and this means pushing the cream violently through any available space for escape. Or in other words, I got the money shot as soon as I bit in to the donut. To make matters worse, there was a thick coating of powdered sugar on the donut (again, another delightful addition to the pastry adding more sweetness to it all). But if you have ever eaten a powdered donut, the sugar goes everywhere. Even if you just breath in proximity of the donut, you stir up a cloud of confectionary soot. I was a mess. I went through about twenty-five napkins eating this donut. I leaned way out over the passenger seat to avoid getting it on my clothes. I had cream and sugar in my beard, on my chin and in my hair. It was a mess. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but a delicious mess.
Those were my lessons today for National Cream Filled Donut Day. I like cream filled donuts. I used to not appreciate them but my aging palate has taught me to appreciate the cool, sweet texture of cream mixed with the fluffiness of cake. I’m just not a fan of the mess. I suppose if you ate your donut at the table with a knife and fork you could avoid this, but that’s not how you eat a donut. It’s a food you eat with your hand and if it’s filled with cream, you just have to be ready to get messy. Sometimes it’s not worth the hassle (especially if you have a black shirt on). Other times, and particularly on National Cream Filled Donut Day, you throw caution to the wind and you give yourself to this sweet treat and just accept the mess. It’s really a small price to pay.
Next up: National Double Cheeseburger Day