Tackling a Legend: Krispy Kreme Pt. 1

27 Nov

To our dismay, the Krispy Kreme store in our neck of the woods closed down a few years ago (thanks for nothing, Atkins Diet!).  Coffee Girl, herself a longtime advocate of Krispy Kremes, worried she would never again be able to connect to the glorious glaze.  Donut Boy, having not had one since boyhood, could only fuzzily recall how they tasted.

Imagine our excitement, then, when we discovered that a Krispy Kreme store lay waiting in nearby Elk Grove.  After charting a course on Yahoo Maps, we hopped in the Donut Mobile and made haste to this hallowed ground.

Here is what we found:

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Donut #1: Glazed (Classic Krispy Kreme)

Coffee Girl:

This is it.  The Platonic Ideal.  Donut Optimus.  At this particular moment, despite being full to the brim with donuts, we would not turn down another glazed Krispy Kreme donut if it introduced itself.  The donut body is so soft and succulent, the glaze so sweet and crackly.  A mere whiff of heaven, gone even as one begins to sigh in pleasure.  More!  More!

Donut Boy:

I tried not to psyche myself out as I reached for this donut classic.  So much has been said.  So much has been written.  Could it possibly live up to the hype?  I closed my eyes and took a bite.  “Holy crap!” I thought, as the donut dissolved almost instantly in my mouth.  “Where did that bite go?” Never ever have I had a donut this airy and ethereal.  Hands-down the best glazed donut I’ve ever tasted.  The sugary coating flakes off and sticks to your fingers and the corners of your mouth.  A slight echo of frying oil slips in at the last second.  And then it’s all over, and you are reaching for another.  Simply fantastic.

Donut #2: Chocolate Frosted Glazed

Coffee Girl:

The chocolate frosting is very nice indeed, but is it necessary?  Can one improve on perfection (see above)?

Donut Boy:

I concur.  Following the glazed donut, this donut seemed to violate the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it adage.  Good, but I’d rather just have another glazed.

Donut #3: Maple Frosted Long John

Coffee Girl:

The frosting was terrific — strong, sweet maple taste with a nice consistency.  The donut itself was a tad stale.  We wish we could have followed the microwave directions on the box and zapped it for 8 seconds.  Perhaps it is appropriate here for us to reflect on the ephemeral nature of happiness vis a vis the short life-span of the perfectly fresh Krispy Kreme donut.  (Pause for reflection.)

Donut Boy:

Yeah, this pastry did not seem to be very fresh.  In contrast to the glazed donut I first had, this donut seemed practically brick-like in its heft and breadiness.  The maple glaze was very bold.  To my taste, too much so.  This was an okay donut, but there were much better ones in the box.

Donut #4: Glazed Cream-Filled

Coffee Girl

Can one improve upon perfection?  Apparently.  This donut combines the peak experience of the Krispy Kreme plain glazed donut with a mouthful of fresh whipped cream.  It’s like falling backwards onto a fluffy down comforter that’s floating in the air.

Donut Boy:

This is the only other donut of the morning that came close to matching the classic Krispy Kreme (see above) in terms of lightness.  I was instantly smitten.  The light whipped cream, too, aided this donut’s gentle seduction, sliding under the sweetness of the glaze to deliver an additional level of glucose.  Must be eaten to be believed.  Loved it.

Donut #5: Chocolate Frosted Custard-Filled

Donut Boy:

Here, again, I seemed to run up against what could be a good donut if only it were a bit fresher.  The chocolate frosting was good, but not remarkable.  Ditto for the custard.  All in all, a pleasant donut, but not one that is likely to stick in my memory.

Donut #6: Apple Fritter

Coffee Girl:

A lighter version of the classic fritter, this was actually too sweet for me.  Nice texture, though.

Donut Boy:

Amicable cushion-y interior and classic apple flavor.  Not a jaw-dropping donut, but then again, Krispy Kreme is not known for their fritters.  Certainly good, but I feel the incredible performance by Krispy Kreme’s glazed donuts (see above) is warping my ability to comment subjectively on a pastry as markedly different as this one.

Donut #7: Glazed Raspberry Jelly-Filled

Coffee Girl:

A surprise contender for our favorite this week, this donut almost managed to push the classic glazed and the glazed cream-filled (see above) off the trophy shelf.  The raspberry jelly was delicious, a lighter version of the heavier, more syrupy filling one comes to expect in a jelly-filled donut.  This donut continues to haunt us, like a lyrical song of longing.

Donut Boy:

The jelly inside this glazed Pouch of Wonder was spot-on: immediately and obviously raspberry with a very pleasing viscosity.  Its sugary exterior was light and yielding, and combined with the raspberry to produce a nuanced sugar trip.  Very, very good jelly donut, and one I would certainly get again.

Donut #8: Chocolate Frosted Cream-Filled

Coffee Girl:

This is the donut we’d been dreaming about before today’s Krispy Kreme outing, having sampled it previously in its boxed, grocery store incarnation.  Was it absolutely delicious?  Yes, it was.  But — and we’re going to be brutally honest here — there are times in life when chocolate is not the point.  Dare we compare chocolate at the Krispy Kreme store to Viagra in the bedroom?  No.  But if we did, we would go on to say that Krispy Kreme’s glazed donuts inspire true love on their own merit.  They don’t need chocolate.

Donut Boy:

I liked this better than the chocolate frosted custard-filled, definitely (see above).  The whipped cream was very light and provided a twist on what would otherwise be a fairly run-of-the-mill donut experience.  I will speculate for a second here and say that it seems that whipped cream-filled donuts are few and far between (with the notable exception of Gibson’s).  In any event, I like where Krispy Kreme is headed with this donut.

Donut #9: Glazed Pumpkin Spice

Coffee Girl:

This was very nice, if you like that sort of thing.

Donut Boy:

Muscular pumpkin flavor in a dense-yet-moist cake donut.  Not overwhelming at all.  Rather, a perfect donut for Pumpkin Enthusiasts (or Cake Donut Enthusiasts).  Great element of crunch, also.

Guest Donuteer Dame Danish:

Satisfyingly nutmeg-y!

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What else?

Krispy Kreme donuts are actually surprisingly light. The great thing about them is how directly they transport us to Donut Heaven.  With minimal chewing required, the road from that sad, lonely place where a donut is outside one’s body to that happy dreamland where, donut internalized, one is plummeting directly toward the light-filled realm of sugar glory is very short indeed, with almost no effort required on the part of the donuteer.  Think of it this way: We ate a dozen donuts, but we certainly don’t feel as if hibernation is necessary.

Right past the counter lies a peek at the Donut Process.

Krispy Kreme makes their donuts on-site, which is a must for any serious bakery.  What’s really great, though, is they put their machinery right up front, with large glass windows allowing patrons to look in on the process.  We got a real kick out of seeing the donuts go by on the racks.  When you go to Krispy Kreme, you feel as if you’re visiting some wondrous Donut Factory that happens to be handing out some of its stock for tasting.

No big deal, just some bonus pastries for no extra charge.

Oh, hey, did we mention free samples? Yep, that’s right: free.  After we ordered our dozen donuts, the cashier kindly handed us three extra glazed donuts, free-of-charge.  They did not go to waste.

Two dozen donuts for $11.99.

Get a free donut for every A on your report card.

There are some pretty sweet promotions going on. Our only regret is that we don’t live in the area and therefore cannot easily take advantage of said offers.  But the Two-Dozen-Donuts-for-$11.99 Deal and the Get-a-Donut-for-Each-A-On-Your-Report-Card Deal (see above) are making us seriously reconsider our choice of neighborhood.

As soon as you set foot on the premises, you smell dough drying. Yes!

The air smells of donuts. It’s true.  As soon as we rolled up, the intoxicating scent of fried dough wafted towards us and enveloped us, heightening our anticipation.

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In closing…

Believe the hype.  Krispy Kreme donuts are good, and the classic glazed donut deserves its legendary status.  While they offer a lot of other varieties, may we be so bold as to say that they’d probably be doing just fine, business-wise, if they only sold their glazed donuts.

 

Some of our donuts could have used a few seconds in the microwave.

We do have a nagging uncertainty, though, which is: How do store-bought, boxed Krispy Kremes compare?  As we already discussed, some of the donuts we had this morning were not as fresh as they could have been.  This begs the question: Would store-bought Krispy Kremes suffice?  We plan on tackling this very question next week.

Stay tuned!

-CG&DB

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