I like to keep a master list of things I learn every year, so I can go back at the end of the year and see whether I’ve grown at all as a person. Usually, of course, I haven’t; if I was the kind of person who experienced personal growth I’d be a lot richer, and probably at least a few inches taller. Anyway, this year, “Don’t eat five donuts in a row and then expect to get anything done for the next 24 hours” made the list. Yesterday, in the aftermath of the Donut Summit, I experienced a sugar crash that heretofore has only been described in the pages of the Old Testament, when Moses ate like sixteen beignets and wound up falling asleep when the rest of the Jews found the promised land. And God didn’t let him in, because that was when God was still all into his principles, before he settled down and had a kid and had to confront the compromises we all have to make in real life. You can read all about it in my spec pilot, Promises, which I’m hoping to sell to either Lifetime or that Christian channel where ladies with big hair sit in fancy chairs praying with their eyes closed.
But I, as usual, digress. As per Alexandra’s request, here are the category descriptions for the Donut Summit Voting Guide.
BEST RAISED DONUT. A raised donut is a donut leavened by yeast or another leavening agent (like baking soda or baking powder). They are typically lighter and less dense than cake donuts, which are closer to cupcakes or muffins in consistency. They’re generally glazed or frosted. They’re also generally awesome. Winner: Moon Donuts/Frygirl/Huckleberry Donuts/Spudnuts
BEST CAKE DONUT. Cake donuts are cake that you eat for breakfast. The next time you get depressed because you just turned on the news only to learn even more about the political corruption and environmental degradation and crime that plague the world, just remember that you also live in a universe where you are compelled to eat cake for your first meal of the day, and that very often this cake is frosted with chocolate. Winner: Tasty Donuts
BEST DONUT FILLING. Donuts can be filled with anything, from cream to jelly to lemon custard to apple pie filling. In Japan, donuts are filled with red bean paste, and in Pakistan, donuts called kichori are filled with beef or chicken. Donut scientists from the University of Donuts estimate that by 2025, food will be considered unfit for human consumption unless it is stuffed into a donut. What’s the best donut filling you had today ? Winner: Donut Man
BEST FRITTER. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “fritter” as “one who engages in or practices fritting.” Wait, that can’t be right. Honestly, we don’t even want to know what “fritting” is. Seriously, forget we said anything about it. And for god’s sake, don’t mention it to the kids. Just tell us which was your favorite fried, glazed pastry with chunks of fruit in it. In the meantime we’re going to write a strongly worded letter to those weirdos at the dictionary. Winner: Randy’s
BEST FROSTING OR GLAZE. The glazed donut was invented in 1887 by a German donut maker, or “fahrvergnugen,” who was tired of watching his customers launch into coughing fits when they accidentally inhaled the powdered sugar on his donuts. “Hmmm,” he said to himself, in German-accented English, “maybe I should lock in the sweetness of these donuts with a glaze that doesn’t cause respiratory distress in my customers.” And the glazed donut was invented. This story is totally true and you needn’t bother looking it up. Winner: Moon Donuts/Bob’s Donuts/Donut Man/Granny’s Donuts
BEST CHOCOLATE DONUT. The spectrum of chocolate donuts is a broad one, ranging from the simple “Chocolate Glazed” to the memorable Entenmann’s “That One Donut Where It’s Got Chocolate Icing But There’s, Like, Yellow Cake Inside.” This category encompasses that spectrum in its entirety — so if you’re wondering whether a given pastry can be considered a chocolate donut, ask yourself: Does it contain chocolate? If the answer is yes, it’s a chocolate donut. Winner: DK’s Donuts
BEST HERTZ DONUT. Oh, you’ve never heard of a Hertz Donut? Would you like to try one? Winner: Metblogs’ own RobNoxious, who I heard punched like five people, one of whom was a baby in a stroller
MOST VISUALLY APPEALING DONUT. Think presentation here. Which donut is the most attractive? The most likely to be hanging in the Louvre above the words Ceci n’est pas un cruller? Which of the donuts before you most appeals to the snooty, Utne Reader-subscribing aesthete inside you? Winner: Frygirl
WORST OVERALL DONUT. “They told us… they told us it was a donut. But that was no donut. That thing… it was like someone just laughed in the face of God and culinary science. This donut… You don’t know, man. You don’t know unless you were there. My god, some nights I still see it when I close my eyes.” Winner: Dubious Donuts, which may or may not be an actual place
MOST UNCONVENTIONAL DONUT. To what do we apply the name “donut?” In discussing donuts qua donuts, what are the rules to which we must adhere? Must it have a hole? Must it be round? Must it be sugared, or leavened, or indeed, meant to be eaten at all? What are the philosophical boundaries separating donut from beignet from bear claw? Which of the donuts before you most demands its own unique terminology? Winner: Frygirl
ROUNDEST DONUT. Rejected terms for this category include “Least Square,” “Most Similar In Shape To A Goodyear G114 LHT Commercial Truck Tire,” “Most Radially Symmetrical,” and “Most Likely To Appear As The Head In A Tiny Homunculus Made Entirely Of Individual Food Items.” Winner: Spudnuts
BEST OVERALL DONUT OR PASTRY. This is the donut that makes you want to rush to the top of a hill and sing out loud about the subtle creaminess of its glaze, or cry out from the rooftops about your singular, unremitting love for its decadent-yet-not-overwhelmingly-sweet filling, or post something like “OMG YOU GUYS THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD #bestdonutever” to your Twitter feed. Which donut makes your heart sing? Your taste buds weep? Your nervous system shudder with glee? And which of these symptoms would compel you to see a doctor if it happened in a non-metaphorical way? Winner: Donut Man