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!

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.