Happy National Doughnut Day everyone! This has to be a top food holiday for me because doughnuts are one of my favorite foods and indulgences. There’s nothing better than biting into a fresh doughnut and not thinking at all about how many calories or fat are in it because it just tastes so damn good. Anytime I eat a doughnut I feel I get transported to an alternate universe of yummy goodness.
To celebrate my love for doughnuts, I’m counting down my fave doughnut places that include picks from all over the country.
I went to college in Boston, so it would be shameful of me to not include Dunkin. Massachusetts is the home state of Dunkin, so in Boston there is one literally on every corner. Aside from all the Boston sports teams, Dunkin Donuts is a true pride of Boston.
I don’t think all the doughnuts there are great, but Dunkin makes my list for its Munchkins. These little doughnut holes that they sell in a variety of flavors are SO ADDICTING.
If I ever buy them I love to get a variety. Some favorite flavors include chocolate, jelly filled, and coconut. Plus they always make a seasonal munchkin flavor. I cannot express into words how delicious the pumpkin muchkin is.
2. Doughnut Plant in NYC
I’ve had the honor of eating a doughnut from Doughnut Plant twice in my life. I found out about Doughnut Plant when they were featured in a segment on the Food Network show “Best Thing I Ever Ate”, and on my first trip to NYC two years ago I knew I had to go to this place.
The doughnuts here are handmade, made with natural ingredients, and made in limited batches, so you better get there before a flavor you want sells out. Doughnut Plant is extremely creative and ingenious when it comes to their doughnut flavors, and that’s what makes them so special. Not only that, but they make flavors and glazes for doughnuts based on what fruits or ingredients are in season. When I got to eat there one spring they had a pineapple glazed doughnut, and it was basically pineapple upside down cake goodness in the form of the doughnut. It was so amazingly delicious. [photo below]
So every time you go to Doughnut Plant you can have a different flavor, but also if you try a flavor you love then you better eat it as many times as you can before it’s gone.
Some flavors are lucky enough to be usuals and always be on the menu. One of them includes the crème brulee doughnut, which is an absolute must try. It’s a round doughnut filled with a crème brulee cream and has crystallized sugar torched on top of it like a true crème brulee. Other usuals include a classic vanilla bean glazed doughnut and a tasty tres leches cake doughnut.
[creme brulee doughnut]
[tres leches doughnut]
Ever since discovering Doughnut Plant, it’s pretty much going to be a stop on any NYC trip I have in the future.
1. Shipley Do-Nuts in Houston, TX
At this point in my 23 years I feel I can try doughnuts all over the country and Shipley’s will still be my favorite. Shipley’s is like comfort food to me since it’s from my hometown of Houston. It might seem like picking a hometown choice is the easy way out, but I can defend my number one with the fact that Shipley’s doughnuts are completely delicious.
You really can’t go wrong with any choice from Shipley’s. However, what honestly makes Shipley’s my favorite is they have the best glazed doughnut EVER. It might be the best one in the whole country.
ADMIRE THE PERFECTION.
Like with most simple foods, I feel a perfect glazed doughnut is an art form. Many doughnut shops may attempt it, but it is not easy to create and achieve such a simple item. If I had to pick one doughnut to eat for the rest of my life it would be the Shipley’s glazed doughnut. Don’t even get me started on their hot glazed doughnuts. If you’re lucky enough to be at a Shipley’s at an early morning time, you can score one of the hot glazed doughnuts. I’m telling you right now that eating a hot glazed doughnut from Shipley’s is a euphoric experience.
At the end of the day, all I need to eat is a good glazed doughnut to make me a happy doughnut eater, and Shipley’s provides that happiness.
Chefs Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain have collaborated to create a chocolate bar for Eclat Chocolates. The “Good & Evil” bar ($18) is made with rare Peruvian cacao beans and cocoa nibs. This is gourmet chocolate taken to a whole other level. I hope chef collaborations like this happen for more food products in the future.
(source: Zagat blog)
I think the Food Network changed everything. Chefs are celebrities now. The food world has become a celebrity world and I think it’s really affected the restaurant industry. It used to be about restaurateurs and maître d’s and now it’s about the chefs. A more chef TV driven world affects how restaurants are run.Donatella Arpaia, Next Iron Chef judge and NYC restauranteur in a recent interview
As Election Day is upon us, yes it is time for us to reflect back on the presidential campaigns and debates, but it is also time for us to reflect on the election themed food marketing campaigns. Many businesses, especially during the last one to two months, have used the event of the presidential election as a way to leverage their product and their brand. Here are some examples of popular brands that have done big election themed marketing campaigns:
7 Eleven has taken the approach of the classic red vs. blue, or in technical terms republican vs. democrat. In their “7 Election” marketing campaign, 7 Eleven has been selling red coffee cups with Romney’s name on them and blue coffee cups with Obama’s name on them. The campaign encourages customers to buy the color coffee cup of which candidate they support.
This is the fourth time 7 Eleven has done the “7 Election”. The first time they did this marketing campaign was in 2000. This marketing effort with their coffee cups is 7 Eleven’s own way of predicting the winner of the presidential election. Through out the course of the campaign 7 Eleven keeps track of how many of each color cup are sold. This is turn creates a polling system for 7 Eleven to predict a winner of the “7 Election”. Ironically, in the last two elections the presidential candidate who has been the winner of the “7 Election” has also been the winner of the presidential election. See the statistics below:
Of course, 7 Eleven hasn’t forgotten that you can’t have coffee without donuts. This year they have even been selling red iced “Republi-crème” and blue iced “Donu-crat” star shaped donuts. This photo is courtesy of my friend Kate:
The tagline for the “7 Election” of this year was “Vote Quality”. 7 Eleven has used the election to both make an interactive, multi-dimensional campaign while at the same time highlighting their products.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben and Jerry’s has always been a brand to publicly support causes it’s passionate for. The presidential election is certainly one of those causes for Ben and Jerry’s. Each election Ben and Jerry’s has taken a stance on a particular topic. They do this to both express something they feel like needs to be changed and also to provide the opportunity to let their customers’ voices be heard.
This year Ben and Jerry’s presented the “Here’s the Scoop” topic of “Get the Dough Out of Politics!”. They educated their customers about how too much corporate money is being spent in elections. The Supreme Court’s decision to approve Citizens United “gave corporations the green light to spend limitless sums of money to influence our elections”.
Through handing out brochures and creating educational videos, Ben and Jerry’s aimed to get people in touch with their elected representatives to file a constitutional amendment to the Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United.
Ben & Jerry’s did some more light-hearted promotions as well. Their Ameri-Cone Dream flavored ice cream, which was created by Stephen Colbert during the 2008 election, was highlighted during the election season, and the packaging was made with an election theme. They also sold a limited-time sundae made with the flavor in their stores.
Boston Market has also tapped into creating a campaign emulating the battle of the two political parties. During election season Boston Market hosted the “Bowl Poll”. Customers could vote on which protein, chicken or turkey, would become the main ingredient in their new Market Bowls. Chicken was the “left wing” party and turkey was the “right wing” party.
The chicken and turkey each had their own campaigns, including videos for each, similar to a presidential candidate commercials you see on TV. Each video was done in a humorous manner where they had a chicken and turkey pretending to get people’s votes and stating why each is the best choice for the Market Bowl.
Through this campaign Boston Market was able to make consumers have a voice in creating a new product. At the same time it was able to highlight it’s signature products, which are its home style, freshly cooked meats.