Jewel Osco: Pastry gems for the proletariat

16 Oct

For this week’s Breakfast Report, we ventured into an everyday, arguably un-remarkable venue for donuts: Jewel Osco.

While many Americans shop at Jewel every week, they may or may not have noticed that there’s a small, unassuming section of Jewel where the donuts lie.  Fortunately, we did notice.  Here’s what we found:


Donut #1: Boston Kreme

Donut Boy:

Like I’ve said before, I’ll often go for the Boston Kreme donut if the opportunity presents itself.  What I really liked about this donut was the way its three components worked together.  The frosting, the creamy-yet-not-overly-rich custard, and the surprisingly light dough of the donut blended very nicely.  This donut set a pleasant precedent, certainly aided by its overall freshness.  While most people probably do not have very high expectations heading into a Jewel Osco Donut Experience, this Boston Kreme is not to be scoffed at.  A serious contender that holds up to its brothers from other bakeries.  I actually liked this more than the Boston Kreme I had at Laury’s.

Donut #2:Chocolate Frosted Yeast Donut

Coffee Girl:

This donut was a pleasant surprise: squishy like Wonder Bread and not too heavy.  The frosting was thick and sweet and luscious.  The donut itself had a sweetness, in contrast to other donuts of this sort.  All in all, I would give this donut a “B+” for taste, sweetness, consistency, and personality.

Donut Boy:

I was intrigued by the word “yeast” in this donut’s description.  While all the donuts I tried at Jewel were on the lighter side, this donut was particularly noteworthy for its almost airy dough.  The freshness of this donut, too, meant that the frosting was not hard and crusty, but still creamy.  This donut practically melted in my mouth.

Donut #3: Glazed Jelly-Filled

Coffee Girl:

I am an on-again-off-again fan of jelly-filled donuts.  This was a creditable entry with a very tasty, light raised donut and a delicious, light glaze that was still sticky.  The jelly itself was mediocre: a little gelatinous for my taste.  I only ate half this donut.  If you love jelly donuts, I would still recommend you try it, but don’t go too far out of the way for it.

Donut Boy:

I really enjoyed this donut.  Too often, a glazed donut can become hard and flaky.  This glaze was just perfect: all-encompassing (I’m talking 360 degrees of glaze coverage) and still viscous.  Getting the glaze on my fingers was a mess that I didn’t mind in the slightest.  While my partner was not overly thrilled by the jelly inside, I personally found it to be pleasantly sweet.  The distribution of the jelly within the donut, too, was well done.  Sometimes at places like Dunkin’ Donuts, the jelly is all concentrated in a large lump in the very middle of the donut.  This donut did not feel overly stuffed, and the jelly spread out nicely to the edges.  Very good.

Donut #4: Apple Fritter

Coffee Girl:

This apple fritter was a particular delight.  Smaller than most apple fritters, it didn’t suffer from having too much bread.  The mix of donut glaze, apple flavor, and crunch was just perfect.  It tasted fresh.  I would give this an “A-.”

Donut Boy:

This was my favorite donut of the morning.  For me, the glaze, mixed with the lightness of the pastry and its wonderful texture, made this the perfect experience.  Hands down, the best apple fritter I’ve had in our explorations thus far.

Donut #5: Chocolate Frosted Cake Donut with Sprinkles

Coffee Girl:

I’m going to give this donut a solid “C+.”  A tasty donut, a little on the heavy side.  Good flavor, very good frosting, nice sprinkles.  All in all, a good donut experience.

Donut Boy:

While this donut was definitely the heaviest of all the donuts we tried, Jewel still managed to deliver a good cake donut.  The sprinkles added a great texture, and the rich flavor of the cake really cut through and added to the experience of the chocolate frosting.  Nice.


Bottom Line:

Just because it’s Jewel, don’t write off these donuts.  Very fresh.  Light.  If you’ve got a Jewel nearby, definitely check it out.  Our bet is you won’t be disappointed.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that Jewel’s got great prices.  While buying a half dozen donuts likely won’t hurt anyone’s wallet, the donuts at Jewel are a mere 59¢ each.  Compare that to, say, 7-11, where donuts range from 89¢ to $1.39, and you can see why it’s advantageous to shop at Jewel.

A lot of people will tell you not to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.  But if you find yourself at Jewel and you are hungry, then head for these tasty donuts.

Until next Saturday, Brave Commuters.  Stay hungry!




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