I’ve had a really hard time getting back into the groove on blogging after our family trip to Europe and a few trips for work. While the next two months are pretty hectic, I’m committed to getting back on track and catching up on the enormous backlog of posts I owe the folks who tune in here on a daily basis.
For those of you that follow me through any social media channel or have ended up meeting me in various cities, you’re probably aware of my donut
fetish obsessions cravings. My travel this year has taken me to many places I haven’t visited in the past. I thought of ways to try to make the long slog of travel more fun for me and decided that I would make an effort to try a new donut place in every city. Just call it my commitment to cholesterol.
Before we get to the first installment of this series of posts, hoping to push the #donutsacrossamerica movement up the popularity list, I think it’s worth exploring what I really like in donuts.
As a kid, I grew up on the original Dunkin Donuts, back when they used to be actually baked fresh int the stores as opposed to being microwaved out of a freezer. Given their mix of donuts, I had a healthy variety of yeast donuts (the lighter, airier donuts).
We had two places we traveled to frequently as kids. We would take an annual trip or two up to Halifax, Nova Scotia to visit my mother’s family. Most of the family lived in a small town called Fall River, and we usually stayed with my grandmother.
She had an old-fashioned cookie tin with a bunch of princes and princesses on the lid. When we showed up, she would open up the tin and inside would be these wonderful, homemade cake donuts that were dipped in granulated sugar. Sometimes they would be warm but they would always be fresh. I think we all have memories of certain things from our childhood. Those memories can be larger than life, in that if you go back 20 years to that thing you loved it won’t be quite the same when you’re not peering through the eyes of a child.
That most certainly never happened with my donut memories. While I can’t go back and taste those donuts today, they left an indelible impression on me, though thankfully not too much on my waist line.
We also spent most of our summers at the Jersey Shore. That’s where I had my second experience with cake donuts, which I prefer (though I don’t discriminate against pretty much any variety of donuts). Cake donuts are the heavier donuts of the two and, when cooked correctly, are blissful.
I worked in restaurants during the summer and worked my way up to manager of the restaurant I was working in. The restaurant had some financial troubles due to an illness the owner’s father had. I was forced into a larger management role and even put some of my money into the ongoing operations to keep us moving in the right direction. I would open up each morning and prepare breakfast for our early customers while I started prep for the rest of the day.
We were an Italian restaurant serving, wait for it….lots of pizza. One morning around 9am I got a call from Argyle Donuts down the street from us. They wondered if the pizza oven was on. For those that don’t know, a pizza oven takes a long time to heat up. At first, I couldn’t figure out why they wanted pizza at 9am. I quickly realized their day started well before mine and by 9am, they were contemplating lunch.
I started firing up the pizza oven earlier in the mornings and I would send our dishwasher down to Argyle Donuts with a pizza on his handlebars to deliver it. The first day he delivered he came back with the cash for the pizza (this is 25 years ago, no apps or pay-by-phone) and a bag of warm donuts on his handlebars. A beautiful relationship was born right there and continued until the restaurant ultimately closed and I went to college.
Why Donuts Across America?
As you can see, donuts were a part of my life from an early age. I’ve never been the healthiest eater. I exercise so I can generally get to my next unhealthy treat. My wife is healthy enough for both of us and frequently rolls her eyes when she sees me savoring a donut or Italian cookie from Little Italy.
Earlier this year, my job started taking me to a number of cities I had never traveled to before. It was a whole lot of travel to a bunch of places I might never visit again. Some of them were way off the beaten path. Taos, Los Alamos, Fargo, Bozeman, Kelowna. I thought it would be fun to try something in each town that I could compare. This was alongside sampling food that each area was famous for. It didn’t take me long to figure out that pretty much every town has a donut shop that the local folks think is the best. Just like I’ll always measure donuts against my grandmother’s tin.
I decided to put together a series of blog posts with the donuts I’ve tried in the various cities. You can also find plenty of pictures on my Instagram feed. You’ll see them pop up on my Facebook feed and Twitter feed as well. I’m using the hashtag #donutsacrossamerica, among others.
Here’s hoping you enjoy the trip!
The post Donuts Across America: Getting Started was published first on Pizza in Motion