Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 12¢ Donut

[In the voice of Dr. Hathaway] Good evening.  Tonight we're going to look at something most of us take for granted… the doughnut.  What does it look like?

Ok, yeah, a donut is nice.  I like doughnuts a lot more though

Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary, 3rd Ed., 1996
Ok, there isn't any.  Donut is a shortened spelling of doughnut that is particularly common in the US.  But I feel like there is a difference.  I'm not talking cake versus yeast or some sort of geographic thing.  I can't even draw a distinct line to separate one from the other.  I can't say that either is the platonic ideal of a doughnut—even if there were, I wouldn't want to know about it.

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, 1963
That pretty much covers it all.  I suppose something doughnut like (sense 2) really calls for the longer spelling, right?  Otherwise it is up to you.

That being said, I still feel like there is a difference.  There are a couple of things that can make a doughnut a donut:

  • Made to keep for days—so it is usually sold in a box, maybe even in a miniature form (like Donettes or the superior Tastykake Mini Donuts).  Yes even Entenmann's donuts—even their chocolate coated ones—fall well in donut territory.
  • Bought in a connivence store—7-11, QT, Sheets, and others often sell fresh donuts.  They are ok.  But usually not that fresh.  Or made with a great deal of care.
  • Those sold by most grocery store bakeries—They just aren't that well made.  Usually it is the bite and mouth feel that downgrade these to donuts.
  • Krispy Kreme—I don't really like these greasy bastards with donuts or doughnuts.  They are their own thing.  Even though I "don't really like" them sometimes I eat them.  And if I eat more than two I enter a world of pain, Smokey.
That isn't to say that you can't get a good doughnut in a grocery store bakery.  I know I have.  Meijer, based near Grand Rapids, usually has pretty excellent doughnuts.  As does Giant Eagle out of Pittsburgh.

But, I, unfortunately, am not in either of their territory.  And I can't afford a 75¢ doughnut.  

The good news it: I'm willing to settle:

12¢ donut, 15 to a box, from Aldi

1 comment:

  1. Emily knew she used to get a good "doughnut" from a grocery store once upon a time, but has sworn off grocery store donuts for a while now... we used to shop at Giant Eagle... and the puzzle pieces finally fit