The Donut: under-represented, belittled as merely a breakfast food, often the victim of foodie scorn and pretension. Maybe some of you will think I should turn in my foodie badge for saying the following, but I think donuts are simply wonderful. They are highly undervalued in the dessert world and are sadly often written off as a convenient pastry to accompany one’s morning coffee.
I disagree – and here’s why.
For starters, the texture of the donut is unlike most other baked desserts. Cakes tend to be denser while other baked desserts such as the cookie or a bar are usually chewier. Contrastingly, the donut is incredibly airy and light, even though it is fried in the cooking process.
Additionally, the fact that the glaze is usually only on half of the donut gives the consumer a varied eating experience: you can alternate bites with the glaze and sprinkles with bites of the underside of the doughnut which has a plainer yet just as satisfying doughy taste. What’s better? If your doughnut isn’t made fresh (which really does make all the difference between a good doughnut and a great doughnut), you can stick it in the microwave for ten seconds and doughnut seemingly melts in your mouth.
Furthermore, making a good donut requires a lot more skill and patience than most other dessert. Chances are that you’ve probably made many more cakes than donuts, if ever. Why? It’s a rare skill to be able to make donuts (which are fluffy, sweetened moderately, and perfectly shaped) in your own kitchen.
Lastly there are hundreds of different cultural variants for each individual’s tastes. For those too sophisticated to enjoy a donut, there is the French beignet – usually square in shape and topped with powdered sugar and syrup. Or, one may be a fan of the Greek doughnut, also known as loukoumades, which are similar to doughnut holes but are soaked in honey and cinnamon. Surprisingly, the doughnut also makes appearances in Asian cultures. For example, in Northern Indian and Pakistani cuisine, one will find balushahi, fried rings of refined wheat flour.
So, have I convinced you that the doughnut should be considered a dessert? Or are you still a believer that the doughnut is a satisfying breakfast food but nothing else? I’d love to hear your opinions!