Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Krispy Kreme

One thing I've noticed about Maryland's cuisine is that it's a noticeably Southern one. Open any cookbook of Maryland cookin' (I prefer John Shields' Chesapeake Bay Cookery) and look at the recipes: corn bread, various oyster dressings and whatnot, fried chicken (what non-vegan hasn't had Maryland fried chicken?), greens, sweet potato pies and peach cobblers. And though they're not as common anymore we still have our share of hush puppies, okra, grits and fried green tomatoes (I am getting so hungry right now). Mind you, there are a handful of more Northern aspects to our food, too. We aren't that big on the pimiento cheese, and boiled peanuts are anathema to us. That and we don't see much scrapple or sauerbraten south of the Potomac. Now that I think about it, how far reaching is sour beef?

Our preference for donuts is one of the few things for which Maryland finds itself above the culinary Mason-Dixon line. We are a clear-cut Dunkin' Donuts population. How many of us grew up with munchkins? (Mmmm. Chocolate Munchkins with Sugar Glaze. My favorite.) I always jumped for joy when Mom and Dad brought home that peculiar but handy munchkin box. I rarely ate what was on the top; I always burrowed down to find the chocolate sugar glazed ones, my hand emerging all powdery and sticky. Positively horrifying when touching a telephone (um, eww), but nothing more than a mere nuisance when reaching for your favorite munchkin.

I was first introduced to Krispy Kremes when I lived in California. One opened up by UCR in Riverside and all I heard after that was "Oh, BOY! A Krispy Kreme!" There was nary a Dunkin' Donuts in the area and a serious donuts jones was settling over me. And the local chain, Winchell's, is simply inedible. I had to try this Krispy Kreme place. Getting past the obnoxious Beaver Cleaver-ish children stuffing donuts into their mouths on the mural by the front door was easy enough. The workers happily handed out fresh, hot samples for free! Oh my God, I was stunned at how disgustingly wonderful these things were! I ate too many - only a few month's worth of aerobic kickboxing and much more healthy eating would get me down to the weight I am today. But my, were they good.

I don't eat many donuts these days. Okay, I've had, oh, five since the first of the year. Just don't like 'em anymore - Dunkin', Krispies, I've lost the taste for them. But on rare occasion I will get that jones for them again. And of the five I have eaten in 2007, two of them were today when I went to the Krispy Kreme on Ritchie Hwy. And I ordered them hot. Just as Tarheel essayist Celia Rivenbark notes in her book (I love this title) Stop Dressing Your Six-Year Old Like a Skank - man, if I had a dollar for every parent I've wanted to say that to - they really are worthless when they're cold. Then they're just your average, run of the mill donut. In fact, I'd say several varieties of Dunkin' Donuts surpass them easily. But hot, there's little contest. The best way to eat a donut is hot, and I've only ever had Krispy Kremes that way. I've never had the chance to eat a hot Dunkin' Donut. They're just not served that way!

So next time you find yourself in the 7-Eleven, lay off the Krispy Kremes. And please don't buy a dozen for your co-workers. They're just not worth eating by then. Just eat them in the car after you buy them, and ask specifically for hot donuts. If they have none, leave.


Fairfax said...

Bless your heart!

John said...

I hope it is, considering how many donuts I could've been eating all these years!

this black girl said...

as a native virginian, i have to say taht krispy kremes are still worth buying. all you have to do is run a 5-minute zap in the microwave. :)

John said...

5 minutes (or was that seconds)! Dang, that's a hot donut! :)

That's a good idea. I wasn't sure if it'd work with donuts or not. I will try that the next time I get a Krispy Kreme donut (at the rate I'm going, I'll be buying my next donut around October!)

anonymouscoworker said...

My first Krispy Kreme was a hot one. That pretty much ruined donuts for me. Every now and then I'll want one, and when I do, it HAS to be a hot Krispy Kreme, otherwise, it's just not worth it.

John said...

Amen to the hot donut thing. I almost stopped by again but stopped myself. Don't need the extra donut, hot or not.

But I do feel a science experiment a-comin' on... Something with a Krispy Kreme, a Dunkin' Donut and a microwave I think.