Chomp, Chomp, Gone: A Return to Krispy Kreme

10 Sep

Krispy Kreme is one of those rare brand-names that has become virtually synonymous with the product it sells (see also: Kleenex, Band-Aid).  Unfortunately, a few years back, some quack named Atkins came out with a fad diet that frowned upon certain awesome foods.  Krispy Kremes bore the brunt of this shunning, and locations everywhere began shutting down.

However, if you do a little searching, you can still find a few store locations open.  The closest one to Donut HQ is located in Elk Grove, IL, and they are serving up fresh Krispy Kremes in a variety of flavors.  We’ve been here before (and we had a great time), but we decided to make a return trip this morning in order to objectively score the pastries.

Here’s what we found:

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Glazed

Coffee Girl: Krispy Kreme’s original glazed donut, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread, movie theater popcorn with butter, Reese’s Cups: These all belong to the Pantheon of Foodstuffs, better than which one cannot get.  Please do not disturb their delicate balance of ingredients in the name of “upgrading” their “quality”.  Remember what happened when you tried that gourmet peanut butter-filled chocolate cup?  Right:  you learned not to violate the alchemy which transforms — by the power of all that is sacred — mediocre ingredients into heaven on earth.  And isn’t that what proves the existence of God?  Yes it is.

All theological discussions aside, the basic glazed raised donut at Krispy Kreme is a complete and perfect essay on Donutology in and of itself.  Sweet, light, bite-sized for the more generous oral cavities, delicate, a perfect dollop of airy delight.

Donut Boy: Between the sticky, buttery glaze with salty hints of frying oil, the ethereal way the pastry dissolves upon the tongue, and its slightly smaller size, what’s not to like?  Once you’ve had one of these, you will inevitably compare all future glazed donuts to this one.  And they’ll probably fall short.

Score: 9.8

Glazed Whipped Cream-Filled

Coffee Girl: All right, so we’ve established that the original Krispy Kreme donut represents a Platonic ideal.  Let’s say, just for the purpose of argument, that this donut is an angel on a cloud, white-robed and plucking at a glimmering harp.  Got it?  Now quickly throw a sweet glaze over the entire cherub and take a bite.  That is Krispy Kreme’s whipped cream-filled glazed donut.  Oh.  My.  God.

Donut Boy: Krispy Kreme’s method seems to be to try different spins on their regular glazed and see what works.  Their whipped cream-filled one definitely works.  Still that awesome glaze, the ante upped with whipped cream.  Superb.

Score: 9.7

Glazed Old-Fashioned

Donut Boy: The interior of this cake donut was unbelievably moist.  After a slight crunch, the donut dissolves in a swirl of rich, pound cake-like dough and sticky glaze.  Divine.

Score: 9.7

Raspberry Jelly

Donut Boy: I liked this donut, but I could have used way more jelly.  After one bit, you’re left with this:

Still, what little jelly there is combines well with the glazed exterior.

Coffee Girl: None of you, of course, remember the “Don’t mess with Mother Nature” commercial series for some brand of margarine or other.  I do, but never mind.  The point is that, aside from the whipped cream filling which was such a genius idea, the addition of a raspberry jelly filling to Krispy Kreme’s glazed, raised donut is as far as they should venture from their original plain donut, without the anger of the universe descending on them.  This donut is just right, in the don’t-mess-with-the-white-bread-in-my-PB&J-sandwich sense.  Perfect chemistry.

Score: 8.8

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As you can see from the above picture, we tried many kinds this morning.  Our conclusion?  Krispy Kreme does it best when they don’t wander too far from their original glazed donut.  Large departures from this formula (a gelatinous apple-and-cinnamon, a runny Boston Kreme) leave much to be desired.  Really, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to put chocolate frosting on it.

OVERALL SCORE: 8.4 (out of 10)

Plenty of space inside to sit and enjoy donuts.

If you can get to a Krispy Kreme outlet, do it.  They recall a happier, simpler time when people weren’t obsessed with carbohydrates or sugars.  No, they simply serve fresh-made donuts in pretty packaging.  They’ll even hand you a free glazed donut right when you walk up to the counter.  Now that’s customer service at its finest!

Until next week, Pastry Eaters!

-CG&DB

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