As I mentioned in my last post, there is a great debate amongst donut aficionados as to whether cake or yeast donuts are the superior form. I still plan to weigh in on that topic in a future post, but first I’m going to review the latest from Du’s Donuts, a formerly cake exclusive establishment that just released their first yeast creation: Peach Cobbler.
When it comes to yeast donuts, nothing comes close to the mass of a legendary Dough donut, but Du’s is knocking at the door with their latest endeavor. Almost double the size of their original cake styles, their yeast donut is surprisingly dense with hardly any air pockets, a characteristic that feels pretty standard for the yeast variety, making each bite full of chewy goodness. The dough itself is a pretty standard vanilla base that is moist and rich with texture which actually gives it more of a cake-y feel and has much more chew to it than I had expected. The air-y nature of most yeast donuts was nowhere to be found on Du’s version, but nevertheless it was perfectly fresh and the absence of a sticky glaze helped lighten the load. The peach frosting and cobbler crumble on top gave the donut its burst of flavor, the fresh fruit making it a perfect late-summer snack, adding to the refreshing nature of the treat. While Du’s cake donuts are dense and pack a punch in terms of texture and mighty flavors, the yeast donut was a bit of a different affair, one focused mostly on the dough and less on the flavor.
On a recent weekend donut trip outside of the city, Jason told a friend of ours that Boston Creme was my “Suburbs order.” In the city, I’m all about the fun, experimental flavors, but when I’m in the Suburbs, there’s nothing better than a classic glaze or filled donut. This got me thinking about my passion for donuts and how they began with my love for a classic (being from Massachusetts, this means a loyalty to Dunkin’ Donuts), but have evolved into a love for craft donuts.
Jason previously wrote about Tradition over quality and that certainly speaks to how I grew up. However, once I moved to New York, that quickly changed. Like many desserts and sweet treat trends, craft donuts have been a recent hit across the city popping up alongside many staples and classics from coffee shops and diners to hole-in-the-wall (pun intended) shops remaining from grittier days of the city’s past. For many, a classic could be anything from Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme to Donut Delight or landmark city locations like Peter Pan or Donut Pub. Classics entail a deep-fried dough covered in a sweet and sugary glaze or chewy, yeasty donut injected with jelly or cream.
When work brings us downtown, Jason and I often meet up at the Pub for a quick classic to start the day, but we regularly try the flavors of the month from our favorite spot, Doughnut Plant, which falls into the craft category. By now, artisanal, craft food is nothing new to the city and world-class donuts exist around the world, not just in the United States. Still, New York City is home to some of the best variety of craft donuts and going on adventures to try the latest creations was a huge inspiration to starting this blog. Now, craft vs. classic isn’t the same debate as cake vs. yeast (I’ll save that for another post) because in my opinion, there are great opportunities for both options. In the city, it’s hard for me to say no to all of the wild inventions that some of these shops create, but going back to the comment that sparked the idea for this post, there are times when a classic hits the spot. Luckily, I live in a place where both are widely available and I’m not too often forced to make a choice, but more often than not, I’m trying craft selections from my favorite joints across the city. Truth be told, however, Dun-Well Doughnuts might be the best middle ground donut in the city and they’re only a few blocks from my apartment, so really, I’m often consuming the best of both worlds (they’re vegan too)!
So yes, these days my donut consumption is mostly comprised of some of the cities finest, artisan concoctions from the likes of Doughnut Plant, Doughnut Project, and Du’s, but craft donuts help keep the inspiration for the review section alive. Still, while craft might be the top contender now, I will always hold a special place in my heart for something that reminds me of the past. Getting to share both with my friend is truly the best.