Flavour Revolution – Donut

Pastry Perfection

Donuts are a pretty big deal around the world, but I’m personally curious as to how some of the globe’s biggest chains got their start in the industry. If you are too, you’re in luck. Here are some of those tales!

Tim Hortons

This Canadian classic was started by professional hockey star Tim Horton in 1964. Does it get any more Canadian than combining hockey and donuts!? When Horton passed away in 1974, his business partner Ron Joyce bought out the Horton family’s remaining shares of the company for only $1 million. On the plus side, one of Horton’s daughters married one of Joyce’s sons, bringing the Horton family back into the fold (and company fortune!). With Joyce at the helm, the chain slowly spread across the country and eventually outnumbered McDonald’s locations. Now owned by Burger King, Tim Horton’s franchises can be found throughout the United States, parts of the U.K. and even in the Middle East. As of 2015, Joyce has a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Canadian Crime Scene

Krispy Kreme

One of the oldest donut chains (establish all the way back in 1937) in existence, Krispy Kreme started out as a uncle and nephew operation, first in Paducah, Kentucky and next in Nashville, Tennessee. The franchise even had delivery trucks at one point and hopefully they dropped by right after the daily milk drop off! When Krispy Kreme first came to Canada, line-ups stretched for hours, just to get a bite of the tasty treat. While folks are mostly familiar with the company’s glazed donuts, they also offer a number of other varieties… but everyone knows what brought Krispy Kreme to the dance. Aside from the Great White North, Krispy Kreme has also made its way to countries like Mexico, Australia, India, Colombia, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, China, Japan, and so many more.

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut is one of the most unique pastry companies around, with their array of interesting offerings, including the Captain My Captain (with Captain Crunch cereal bits), the Marshall Mathers (with M&M minis), and the Old Dirty Bastard (with Oreo cookies and peanut butter). We’ve now stayed twice at a hotel across the street from Voodoo’s downtown Portland location and have been mesmerized by the constant line that forms in front of the store. Their donut creations are on the edgier side of the ledger, with a couple selections even being banned because they included medication as toppings. The chain currently has four locations, with the first opening in 2003. Although they are relatively young, they have grown in fame quite rapidly.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Established in 1948 as Open Kettle and later Kettle Donuts, founder William Rosenberg finally settled on Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. His concept came from the success he saw in selling food and drinks at factories and construction sites. Like many other donut enterprises, coffee sales also make up a huge portion of Dunkin’ Donuts popularity and success, despite coffee’s grossness.  I can’t recall ever going to a Dunkin’ Donuts throughout my travels around the world, but it is on my ever-growing “To Do” list. Today, you can find Dunkin’ Donuts in 30 different countries (outside the U.S.), which will help in me crossing a visit off my bucket list. One thing that gives me pause, though, is the website DunkinDonuts.org, which allowed customers to complain about the company… before they bought and shut the site down.

steal-a-donut-truck

BeaverTails

Returning north of the border, BeaverTails are flattened donuts topped with a variety of garnishes, such as Nutella, cookies, chocolate, fruit, cinnamon sugar, whip cream, and much more. They are meant to salute one of Canada’s most treasured animals, the noble beaver (I’ll allow you little sippers to make your own dirty jokes here). The first BeaverTails location opened in 1978, in Killaloe, Ontario of all places. The chain can now be found in other parts of Canada, the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. The company enjoyed international attention when U.S. President Barack Obama made it a point to stop at the chain when visiting the Canadian capital. They even created an Obama Tail for the occasion, comprised of cinnamon sugar, maple-flavoured eyes, and a Nutella ‘O’.

Donut King

Adding some international flair, this franchise, founded in 1981, is based in Australia and has hundreds of outlets across the country. With the Australian market conquered, the Donut King chain has grown into China, which doesn’t seem like the most natural of expansion choices, but I’m not the one who has to explain decisions to shareholders. In 2007, Donut King took part in constructing the world’s largest donut, to celebrate the release of The Simpson Movie on DVD. The project combined 90,000 regular size pastries, a half tonne of pink frosting, and 30kg of sprinkles. The end result weighed 3.5 tonnes and stretched six meters. The effort took 40 people working for nine hours. I only wonder who got to eat the treat at the end of the project!

Flavour Revolution: Apple Fritter Martini

Apple Fritter Martini

  • 1.5 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
  • 1 oz Apple-Cinnamon Vodka
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Dash of Maple Syrup
  • Garnish with a Donut

There are some other popular chains around the world, such as Churromania in Venezuela, Go Nuts Donuts in the Phillippines, and Mister Donut in Japan, but they had never come into my consciousness before researching this piece. Still, you have to give credit to all those making doughy snacks across the globe!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this recipe doesn’t call for it, I added a dash of Mrs. Sip’s recently-purchased Apple-Cinnamon Vodka and it was a really nice touch. All the other ingredients came together nicely and although I was worried the martini would be too sweet, it wasn’t. All in all, it was quite delicious and a crowd pleaser!

October 12 – Churros

Donuts Around the World

We all know your typical donut offerings: your rounds, jelly-filled, long johns, etc., but the world is in fact full of variations on the classic pastry. I know what you’re saying “There can’t seriously be that many different styles of donuts!” If that’s your opinion, stand back and prepare to be amazed (as you usually are) by the Sip Advisor’s investigative skills… ahem, and a quick shout out to Wikipedia!

Churro (Mexico) – Every time Mrs. Sip and I are in Disneyland we have to share at least one churro. While you might shell out $3-$5 for a single churro at the fair or amusement park, in Mexico, we picked up an entire bag of the cinnamon sugar-laced dessert sticks for about the same price.

Churros

Beaver Tail (Canada) – Once again, Canada puts itself on the map with culinary items that come the closest to sexual innuendos! The Beaver Tail, in this case, is actually a flat, rounded donut that you can layer various toppings onto. A company has grown out of this invention and offers some great options.

Timbits (Canada) – One of the country’s most popular dessert offerings is the Timbit (known is other locales as a donut hole), which allows snackers to still have some doughy goodness, but not be forced to inhale an entire donut. My favourite Timbit is undoubtedly the chocolate glazed offering.

Fritter (Various) – A fritter basically means (according to my research) and mass of dough that can be stuffed with any substance. That’s not the technical definition, but I think you get the point. Fritters can be stuffed with everything from meat to seafood to fruit.

Cruller (Europe) – While popular in the United States and Canada, crullers originated in Europe and their name is derived from the Dutch word cruller, which means “to curl”. These twisted donuts can come in round or stick form.

Cat Donuts

Ngàuhleisōu (China) – Otherwise known as Ox-Tongue Pastry or Horse-Ear Pastry, these flattened discs are probably more appetizing than they sound. The Ngàuhleisōu can be filled or topped with either sweet or savory filling. Given it’s China, who knows what could be in the donut!

Loukoumas (Greece) – The figure eight of the donut world! I believe Mrs. Sip and I tried one of these bad boys when we visited Greece in 2007… you know, before the country went down the crapper.

Beignets (France) – Similar to a fritter, this French treat is quite popular in Louisiana, where the Creole lifestyle has kept many Parisian traditions alive and well. Mrs. Sip enjoyed beignets when she was in New Orleans recently. The donuts are often topped with piles of powdered sugar and can also feature jams and sauces.

Berliner (Germany) – Filled with various jams, these are the original jelly donuts. Apparently, it’s a common practical joke for berliners packed with mustard to be placed among normal jam-filled berliners, waiting for a victim to take a bite. Oh, those crazy Krauts!

Donut-Seeds

Taiyaki (Japan) – Why not follow your sushi with these fish-shaped donuts. This dessert is more similar to a pancake or waffle in batter style and can be filled with anything, including custard, chocolate, cheese, gyoza, or sausage.

Bear Claw (United States) – Traditional bear claws are commonly made with almond paste and raisins. Since nobody likes things to just be ‘traditional’ anymore, bear claws now also come in apple pie, butter pecan, cream cheese, and various fruit stylings.

Funnel Cake (United States) – Mmmm, I love having funnel cake at American amusement parks. The only thing you have to watch out for is getting powdered sugar all over yourself. Like eating lobster, funnel cakes should come with their own bibs!

Funnel Cake

Elephant Ears (United States) – Colloquially known as a palmier, the elephant ear is a puff pastry which uses dough similar to a croissant. I only wish poachers would spend their time baking these treats rather than killing elephants for their tusks.

Angel Wings (Poland) – These sweet and crispy pastries are enjoyed throughout Europe. A tradition exists of husbands giving angel wings to their wives on Friday the 13th to stave off bad luck… sadly, most of those women snub the snack in favour of negative mojo because they’re counting their calories.

Éclair (France) – The custard-filled, icing-covered pastry is a French delicacy, but not being a huge fan of custard, I think I’d rather just have a Long John!

Drink #285: Churros (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Churros Shooter

  • Rim glass with Cinnamon Sugar
  • 0.75 oz Glazed Donut Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Goldschlager
  • Garnish with a Donut Hole

Every time I think I can’t come up with another article about donuts, in order to support my recipes featuring the Glazed Donut Liqueur, I go and amaze myself with the method and madness my brain is capable of. Next up: the Jelly Donut shooter and post. Let the brainstorming begin!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I originally made this shot, on a whim, for Mrs. Sip and myself. When it passed the taste test, I knew it was eventually going up on the site. The ingredients do emulate a Churro or other cinnamon sugar-based donut and the garnish was a nice little treat to chase the shooter.

September 2 – Coffee and Donuts

Dirty Jobs

As we celebrate Labour Day and the average worker out there, I’m just happy to have the day off and not be anywhere near the realm of work (though living it up at the Bellagio in Vegas sure helps). That said, my job ain’t all that bad. On the flipside, here are some vocations that take some special people to get done:

Waste Collector

Affectionately known as a garbage man (or sanitation engineer if you’re being all PC about it), I have the utmost respect for these hardworking folk, Cousin Sip being one of them. I even tagged along with him on a couple occasions while in high school. The job is extremely physical and not without its dangers. Still, it is pretty cool to be riding on the back of one of these behemoth machines and throwing different smash-able items into the compactor.

garbage man-oscar

Fast-Food Server

While I think it is prudent for every person out there to work one crappy job in their lifetime (mine was as a grocery store deli clerk for four years), so they respect every other position they have in the future, I thankfully never had to work at a fast food joint. The minimal pay and sometimes abusive working conditions just don’t seem worth it, but it can provide employees with a great skill set to use in their future.

Gas Station Attendant

Ah, where Mrs. Sip earned her crappy job cred, making minimum wage and having to deal with people trying to buy smokes without I.D. and people raging at the gas prices. Not to mention the ever-present threat of theft and armed robbery. Most stations now make you pay before you pump to cut down on gas and dash incidents. There have been some that ended tragically with usually young employees trying to stop an occurrence and being killed by the vehicle over a god damn fill-up.

Farmer

Most people would more than hesitate as soon as they heard they had to get up so early in the morning and spend their day dealing with backbreaking labour and uncooperative animals/machinery. These dedicated folk provide us with much of the food we need, including fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and meat. For that (and their daughters!), we thank them.

blind-farmer

Construction Worker

This can include everything to do with construction, whether that’s building, well, buildings, road work, house repair, and everything else that could fall under that umbrella. Pa Sip was an iron worker for most of my childhood until his back just couldn’t do it anymore. And he’s far from alone as most leave the profession with wrecked bodies. Here’s hoping they have nice beds and couches to retreat to!

Parking Enforcement Officer

The abuse these poor folks take from people who always claim that their meter just expired or they didn’t see various signs or other warnings is totally out of proportion compared to what they get paid. Even people who aren’t being ticketed (and perhaps have never received a citation) target the noble parking violation officer with name calling and dirty looks.

fail-parking-ticket

Flight Attendant

We’ve all seen jerks on fligths… now imagine you had to deal with them longer than calling them dirty names under your breath. That is the life of a flight attendant. While I love travelling, I hate travel days, so I would deplore being in a constant cycle of being on the road and never getting to a destination you can enjoy. I salute you, servers of tiny liquor bottles and not enough ice!

Miner

How horrible would it be to live most of your life in the dark? Then add on top of that the danger of cave-ins, explosions, and other risks. Being a miner is also one of the dirtiest jobs out there, deep inside a dark dank cave, covered in filth. That stuff probably never completely washes out and you have to find a spouse that doesn’t mind getting a little dirty with you… but isn’t that what we’re all searching for!?

Drink #245: Coffee and Donuts

Coffee and Donuts Drink

What a perfect drink to celebrate the working Joe’s out there. What jobs do you think are the worst in existence? What is the most horrible job you ever had? Happy Labour Day, everyone!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This is a wonderful dessert drink. I quickly falling in love with my Glazed Donut Liqueur, even if I think cocktail ideas using it will be limited. The recipe calls for a Maraschino cherry garnish, but I said eff that and went for a donut hole (TimBit) instead. I’m classy like that!

July 30 – Maple Donut

Mmmm, Donuts!

One of The Sip Advisor’s favourite snack treats is the donut, despite the rarity in which I actually indulge in having one (after all, I can’t look as good as I do without a little effort in self-discipline!). Let’s take a little look at some of the more interesting bits and bites I was able to dig up on such a treasured subject!

The donut is the favourite food of Homer Simpson and he isn’t alone. It’s estimated that 10 billion donuts are made annually in the U.S. and the average American will eat 63 of these snacks each year.

National Donut Day occurs on the first Friday of every June and celebrates volunteers with the Salvation Army providing World War I veterans with the treat nearly a century ago. Sadly, Canada doesn’t recognize this holiday, but donut chains like Krispy Kreme, which have expanded into the country, extend the same free donut offer they do in the U.S. to their Canadian customers.

Donut Day

The glazed donut is by far the world’s most popular selection and only contains 200 calories on average. Other more “health conscious” breakfast items such as bagels or croissants will rack you up much more than that in calory content.

According to WhitePages.com, 10 people in the United States have the name Donut or Doughnut. I’m not sure if this is a hippy thing or just a snack treat loving thing.

At the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, the donut was lauded as the “Hit Food of the Century of Progress”… that’s some serious street cred!

The art of dunking a donut into coffee was popularized by Clark Gable in the movie It Happened One Night. Legend persists though, that actress Mae Murray was the first to ever try this combination when she accidentally dropped her snack into a cup of java.

Voodoo Doughnut in Oregon has become world famous for their unique recipes and eclectic business operations. It even performs marriage ceremonies, providing donuts and coffee for the reception. Some of Voodoo’s fascinating recipes include the Captain My Captain, featuring Captain Crunch cereal on top of vanilla frosting and the Bacon-Maple Bar, with strips of crispy bacon. It also experiments with other cereals, such as Froot Loops and Cocoa Puffs, and many of Voodoo’s doughnuts have a sexual or occult overtone. The company used to offer NyQuil Glazed and Vanilla Pepto Crushed Tums doughnuts, but local health officials kyboshed those varieties.

voodoo doughnut

Tim Horton’s, Canada’s largest contribution to the coffee and donut game, was founded by a former NHL player of the same name. Sadly, while he enjoyed some success with the business, he never saw the company grow into what it has become, dying after a high-speed police chase. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of his death. It may be a little ironic that Tim Horton’s has an annual Roll-Up the Rim to Win prize campaign, when its founder died rolling his sports car. On a positive note, despite Horton’s widow selling the family’s shares in the company for $1 million to Horton’s business partner and co-founder, Ron Joyce, Joyce’s son and Horton’s daughter later got married, bringing the Horton family back into the ownership fold.

Speaking of donut shops, I’m proud to say that Canada has more outlets per capita than any other country in the world. That’s some impressive stuff from my countrymen! Sadly, we can’t claim to have created the largest donut ever, as that unsurprisingly goes to the U.S. with a jelly donut weighting 1.7 tons.

There is much debate over doughnut vs. donut. I prefer donut and will only use the other form if that is the actual name of a company… enough of this arguing though, it’s time for some pastry snacking of the solid and liquid variety!

Drink #211: Maple Donut (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

July 30

Do you have any donut trivia to pass along to me? I’ll just be sitting here downing a Long John or two and sipping away at this terrific martini. But don’t worry about disturbing me… it was bound to happen sooner or later!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
On a whim, I put together this little recipe and it was a hit with the entire Sip Alliance. My only regret is that I didn’t have a donut or Timbit (Canadian donut hole) around to garnish the cocktail with. Oh well, will have to remember this slip up in the future.