WBEZ | donuts http://www.wbez.org/tags/donuts Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Where have all the old-school doughnut shops gone? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-have-all-old-school-doughnut-shops-gone-108483 <p><p><a name="doughnut crawl vid"></a></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="460" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_GIrh8A2Mr4?rel=0" width="620"></iframe><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F106569327&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Whoever asked the question behind this Curious City story didn&rsquo;t leave a name or a working email address. But I begged to investigate this question:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Does Chicago have any more privately-owned doughnut shops, and which is the best?</em></p><p>I had two reasons:</p><p>1. &nbsp;To eat a lot of doughnuts.</p><p>2. &nbsp;To honor my old friend and roommate Howard Greenwich by investigating something that had always bugged him.</p><p>Howard left Chicago years ago, but I still remember his laments about the city&rsquo;s doughnut situation. &nbsp;</p><p>So does he. &ldquo;I came to Chicago in 1992, and the doughnut was my favorite guilty pleasure,&rdquo; he says, from Seattle, Wash. &ldquo;And I just remember, I traveled all over Chicago for my job, and everywhere I was, it was Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts, or pretty much nothing.&rdquo;</p><p>Which meant, as far as Howard was concerned, pretty much no donuts worth actually eating. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re going to do that much damage to your body,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;it should be good.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>He was disappointed. And kind of mystified.</p><p>Howard grew up in Corning, Calif., which had a population of around 5,000 people &mdash; and a great local doughnut shop. He went to college in Grinnell, Iowa, which had fewer than 9,000 people at the time &mdash; and a great doughnut shop.</p><p>He had expected that a big city like Chicago would offer amazing doughnut possibilities. &nbsp;</p><p>So, this question is honor of Howard, because the question &mdash; <em>Are there any independent shops left?</em> &mdash; contains another question, a deeper mystery: <em>What happened to all of them?</em></p><p>The obvious answer is: Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts killed them all. &nbsp;</p><p>The real answer turns out to be more complicated &mdash; and more interesting. &nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/doughnut vault sign for WEB.jpg" style="height: 287px; width: 430px; float: right;" title="The aesthetics of Doughnut Vault in Chicago's Loop are telling of the city's doughnut history. While old-school doughnut shops still exist, they do so among the growing number of pricier and more artisanal shops. (Logan Jaffe/WBEZ)" /></p><p>I talked with the guy who brought Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts to Chicago: Bob Rosenberg. In 1963, at age 25, he took the company over from his dad, William Rosenberg, right after graduating from Harvard Business School. (He&rsquo;s like the George W. Bush of Donuts.)</p><p>And Bob had spent his last year at Harvard devising a strategy for what he would do with his dad&rsquo;s business. At the time, the company had around 80 doughnut shops all over the country, a hamburger chain in the Boston area, and a bunch of commissary trucks. (Fun fact: Bill Rosenberg invented the roach coach. That was his first business.)</p><p>So, Bob got rid of everything except for Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts, and he said:<em> Look, we&rsquo;re gonna only concentrate on five cities. And we&rsquo;re gonna</em> &mdash; he used this great term with me &mdash; <em>&quot;fortress&rdquo; those markets.</em></p><p>In other words, they would establish a big presence in these places to build up brand awareness, and to get efficiencies in distribution and support. Plus, all the stores would kick into a kitty so they could advertise. They would build up a fortress in the battle against their competitors.</p><p>But they were never competing with other doughnut shops to sell people doughnuts. They were competing with 7-11 and White Hen to sell people coffee. Convenience stores.</p><p>&ldquo;That&#39;s where people stop for &lsquo;coffee-and&rsquo; in the morning, so that&rsquo;s who our competitors were,&rdquo; says Rosenberg. &ldquo;And quite truthfully, I had no idea how many doughnut shops there might have been.&rdquo;</p><p>The doughnut business, he says, is a much tougher racket than the coffee business.</p><p>&ldquo;Doughnuts are consumed maybe on a special occasion by the consumer,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Maybe once every two or three weeks they go to a doughnut shop? Whereas, with coffee, your heavy users are buying it two or three times a day. It&#39;s a whole different business.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>These days, Dunkin&rsquo;s coffee-centricity is all out front. In the 1990s the company <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,289798,00.html">dumped the mascot it had been using in TV commercials for 15 years</a> &mdash; a droopy, early-rising guy called Fred the Baker.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/petqFm94osQ" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Later, the company adopted a slogan that reflects the company&rsquo;s role as a caffeine peddler: America runs on Dunkin. &nbsp;</p><p>But even back when Bob Rosenberg brought Dunkin&#39; Donuts to Chicago in 1965 &mdash; years before Fred the Baker went on TV &mdash; coffee already represented 60 percent of Dunkin&#39; Donuts sales in its home markets. &nbsp;</p><p>Which was no accident.</p><p>&ldquo;We were very fastidious about how we made our coffee,&rdquo; says Rosenberg. &ldquo;Where it was grown, how it was roasted, how much coffee per pot, the fact that we used real cream when nobody else could get it in the United States. Most dairies didn&rsquo;t make 18 percent light cream. I mean, we were slavish in the attention we paid to our beverages.&rdquo;</p><p>Also: They tossed out the coffee every 18 minutes, instead of letting it sit on the burner.</p><p>So, Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts was Starbucks &mdash; building a brand around meticulously-crafted coffee &mdash; before Starbucks was Starbucks.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/firecakes%20for%20web.jpg" style="height: 267px; width: 400px; float: left;" title="Firecakes on Hubbard Street offers both traditional and innovative doughnut options. While the doughnuts may be a bit pricier than those in older shops, their complexity shows a new trend in the doughnut business. (Logan Jaffe/WBEZ)" />Side note: Actually, Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts was Starbucks before it was even Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts.</p><p>Remember how Bob Rosenberg&rsquo;s dad, Bill Rosenberg, started out as the original roach coach guy?</p><p>His first big hit was coffee. And he charged twice as much for coffee as the next guy &mdash; a dime instead of a nickel.</p><p>But it was a much, much better cup of coffee. At the time, the only place to get a really good cup of coffee was a fancy hotel. Bill Rosenberg called the company that supplied the fancy hotels and said he wanted the same stuff. A <em>lot</em> of it. &nbsp;</p><p>He had his workers offer the coffee for free. If customers didn&rsquo;t think it was worth a dime, they didn&rsquo;t have to pay anything. But they did pay the dimes, and they came back the next day for more. &nbsp;</p><p>And Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts didn&rsquo;t take out other donut shops in head-to-head competition. Dunkin was actually in a different, more-profitable business: coffee. &nbsp;</p><p>But still, what happened to all of those doughnut shops? How many did there used to be?</p><p>To find out, I went to the Chicago Public Library&rsquo;s Special Collections room to look in the Yellow Pages &mdash; from 1963 &mdash; two years before Dunkin&#39; Donuts came to Chicago.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/photo%20%282%29.JPG" style="height: 440px; width: 330px; float: right;" title="One look in the Yellow Pages from 1963 shows a number of privately-owned doughnut shops that have since gone out of business.(Source: 1963 Yellow Pages)" />And you know how many there were? 20.</p><p>In a city the size of Chicago, there were only 20 doughnut shops. (There were also tons and tons of bakeries, but still.)</p><p>As a point of comparison, I looked at the 2013 Yellow Pages for Los Angeles. It lists like 150 donut shops. 150! &nbsp;</p><p>None of them is a Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts. Only one is a Krispy Kreme.</p><p>So, LA has more than seven times as many locally-owned doughnut shops today as Chicago had in 1963. &nbsp;</p><p>Why? Well, in 1963, when Bob Rosenberg took over Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts, he made a cross-country trip to scope out potential markets. And California looked terrifying.</p><p>&ldquo;There were thousands and thousands of existing competitors,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;There were coffee shops everywhere,&rdquo; plus an existing regional doughnut-and-coffee chain called Winchells. They were big at the time.</p><p>So when he picked five cities to &ldquo;fortress,&rdquo; LA and San Francisco were off the list. Fifty years later, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-dunkin-donuts-southern-california-20130725,0,5012811.story">Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts is making news in LA</a> with an attempt to crack that market. In 2013.</p><p>What is the deal? Why all the mom-and-pop donut action in LA?</p><p>I&rsquo;ve encountered a couple of theories. For instance, Paul Mullins, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Glazed-America-A-History-Doughnut/dp/0813032385">Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut</a>, chalks it up to LA&rsquo;s &ldquo;car culture,&rdquo; which made doughnut stands a natural, since they&rsquo;d sell something you could eat behind the wheel. &nbsp;</p><p>&hellip; But we&rsquo;re getting far afield. What was our original question again?</p><p>Right: Does Chicago have independent doughnut shops anymore?</p><p>Answer: Yes.</p><p>In the city proper there are more than half a dozen, including <a href="https://www.google.com/maps?layer=c&amp;z=17&amp;sll=41.744338,-87.604851&amp;cid=6088900179239238883&amp;panoid=_piYUsaPuB2S4kK0HuOHdg&amp;cbp=13,3.891336577672689,,0,0&amp;q=dat+donut&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=7x8VUs3DNcq8yAGlo4HYDQ&amp;ved=0CLoBEKAfMAs">Dat Donut</a>, <a href="http://www.huckfinnrestaurant.com/">Huck Finn</a>, <a href="https://www.google.com/maps/preview/uv?hl=en&amp;pb=!1s0x880fcde67b9f5f35:0xe21f8b2f0edc0a4c!2m5!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i100!3m1!7e1!4shttps://plus.google.com/104622753463139059098/photos?hl%3Den%26socfid%3Dweb:lu:kp:placepageimage%26socpid%3D1!5sdonut+doctor+chicago+-+Google+Search&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=RiAVUqnHC-rJygGQooD4Dw&amp;ved=0COYBEKIqMAs">Donut Doctor</a>, and four artisan-style, two-bucks-and-up-a-pop, doughnuts-are-the-new-cupcakes type shops in and around the Loop: <a href="http://firecakesdonuts.com/">Firecakes</a>, <a href="http://thedoughnutvault.tumblr.com/">The Doughnut Vault</a>, <a href="http://doritedonuts.com/">Do-Rite Donuts</a>, and <a href="http://www.goglazed.com/">Glazed and Infused</a>. Plus a food truck called <a href="http://beaversdonuts.com/">Beavers Coffee + Donuts</a>.</p><p>(Really, Beavers does something that&rsquo;s halfway between a doughnut hole and a beignet, but they&rsquo;ve got Donut in the name.)</p><p>And then there&rsquo;s the best: Old Fashioned Donuts in Roseland, at 112th and Michigan. If you haven&rsquo;t already looked at Logan Jaffe&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GIrh8A2Mr4" target="_blank">video of our Epic Doughnut Quest</a>, you might want to scroll up and do that now.</p><p>But briefly, here&rsquo;s the deal: They are the best doughnuts &mdash; the platonic idea of a doughnut. And the shop itself (recall that the question was about the best shop, not just the best doughnut) is all charm.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 450px; float: left;" title="The Williams family picks out their favorite doughnuts at Dat Donut in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood. The Williams family joined Curious City on its first ever doughnut crawl to help decide which privately-owned doughnut shop is the best. (Logan Jaffe/WBEZ)" /></p><p>Big picture windows show off the fryer, the rolling pin, and the donuts being made by hand. &nbsp;Specifically, the hand of owner Buritt Bulloch, who opened the shop in 1972.</p><p>Bulloch sees the story of doughnuts in Chicago very much the way Bob Rosenberg does. He doesn&rsquo;t really know what happened to the other doughnut shops, but he does know that Dunkin isn&rsquo;t his competition. They&rsquo;re about sandwiches and coffee.</p><p>&ldquo;They keep a few doughnuts on the shelf, just to bear the name doughnut ,&rdquo; he says, laughing. &ldquo;But we move quite a bit of product here.&rdquo;</p><p>They do. There&rsquo;s always a line. &nbsp;</p><p>And Buritt Bulloch was artisan doughnuts before artisan doughnuts were artisan doughnuts. Here&rsquo;s his philosophy:</p><p>&ldquo;People ask me, &lsquo;Why don&rsquo;t you expand? Why don&rsquo;t you franchise?&rsquo; I really came here just to make a living,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I love the work, so I just kinda hung with this.</p><p>At 74 years old, he plans to keep hanging with it for another decade.</p><p>&ldquo;I can do it,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m in good shape. That rolling pin will keep me going.&rdquo;</p><p>So, you&rsquo;re on notice: If you want the best doughnut in Chicago, you&rsquo;ve got about ten years to get yourself to 112th and Michigan.</p><p>Meanwhile, for more fun details on the growth of Dunkin&rsquo; Donuts, <a href="http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/08/dunkins-run-a-love-story/">Boston Magazine did an oral history of the company</a> that&rsquo;s packed with great facts and quotes. There&rsquo;s also founder William Rosenberg&rsquo;s autobiography, <a href="http://books.google.com/books/about/Time_to_make_the_donuts.html?id=RV5aAAAAYAAJ">Time to Make the Donuts</a>, in which he discusses his eventual disillusionment with his son Bob&rsquo;s approach to running the company.</p><p>Final footnote: You&rsquo;ll notice that most of the shops mentioned in this story use the spelling &ldquo;donut,&rdquo; where we&rsquo;ve used &ldquo;doughnut&rdquo; here. Thank the <a href="http://justedits.org/post/24198007477/doughnut-vs-donut">Associated Press Stylebook</a> for making us the odd one out.</p><p><em>Dan Weissmann is an independent producer in Chicago. See more of his stuff at <a href="http://danweissmann.com/">danweissmann.com</a> and follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/danweissmann">@danweissmann</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 15:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/where-have-all-old-school-doughnut-shops-gone-108483 The battle of the pastries: Doughnuts vs. cupcakes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/battle-pastries-doughnuts-vs-cupcakes-100437 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F53957764&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/mollyscupcakes%20flickr.kevin%20chang.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 414px; " title="A cupcake from Molly's Cupcakes. (Flickr/Kevin Chang)" /></div><p>In June 2009, TruTv&#39;s blog network pitted writer Rachel Kramer Bussel (of <a href="http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/">Cupcakes Take The Cake</a>) against writer Adam Wade to decide which was better: the cupcake or the doughnut. They ultimately &quot;agreed to disagree&quot; (a cop-out if I&#39;ve ever heard one), but voters decided that the cupcake argument was stronger,<a href="http://blog.trutv.com/dumb_as_a_blog/2009/06/the-notsogreat-debate-cupcakes-versus-donuts.html"> 41 percent to 30</a>.</p><p>What&#39;s there to glean from this relatively trivial and unscientific battle? That cupcakes vs. doughnuts are the latest contenders in the dessert wars. For WBEZ&#39;s <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/">Curious City</a>, Claire Reeder wondered, <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/archive/question/10">&quot;Who decides what the next hot pastry is?&quot;</a></p><p>A quick history: The cupcake trend apparently began about five years ago. <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2009/09/the_cupcake_bubble.html">Writing for<em> Slate</em></a>, Daniel Gross explained that, &quot;The current recession, which started in late 2007, laid the groundwork for the recent proliferation of cupcake stores in American cities. Lots of people know how to make really tasty cupcakes, which are simple products with cheap basic ingredients.&quot;</p><p>The doughnut trend seemed to spark off not long after that, around 2008 (though probably earlier, since the <em>New York Times</em> article on <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/magazine/05food-t.html?_r=2&amp;ref=magazine&amp;oref=slogin">the subject was written that year</a>, and we know that once it&#39;s the topic of a <em>New York Times</em> trend piece, it&#39;s probably been a thing <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/NYTOnIt">for a while</a>). Coincedentally, that was a month after <a href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/04/will-cupcakes-be-the-next-krispy-kreme/">the <em>Times</em> wondered</a> if the cupcake industry had become too crowded &mdash; and used Krispy Kreme as an example of a company that had suffered because of overproliferation.</p><p>In Chicago, cupcakes seem to still be ubiquitous. Shops you&#39;ll happen upon during a walk around the city include (but are very much not limited to) Crumb&rsquo;s, Cupcake Counter, Sugar Bliss, Sprinkles, Magnolia Bakery and Molly&#39;s Cupcakes.</p><p>In 2011, <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2011/02/06/donut_vs_cupcake_the_battle_for_chi.php">Josh Mogerman of <em>Chicagoist</em></a>&nbsp;bemoaned this loss, wondering: &quot;Have cupcakes crowded doughnuts out of the City of Chicago? Are those treats now relics of a more yeasty yesteryear?&quot; Which would imply that contrary to how it appeared elsewhere, doughnuts came first; cupcakes, second.</p><p>To see all the hubbub surrounding the Doughnut Vault, which was<a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/americas-best-doughnuts">&nbsp;named one of America&#39;s best donuts by Food &amp; Wine magazine</a>&nbsp;after a year of operation, would imply otherwise. The lines are so long that it took Christopher Borrelli of the&nbsp;<em>Tribune</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-12/food/ct-live-0413-doughnut-vault-lines-20110412_1_doughnuts-rain-check-line">five tries to finally get his fix</a>, after which he quips, &quot;Six doughnuts: $17. Never again.&nbsp;Besides, aren&#39;t meatballs the new thing?&quot;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2I-PtWtKI8g" width="560"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center; "><span style="font-size:11px;"><em>A loving homage to the Doughnut Vault by Mode Project</em></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/JMPurePastry_Orb_12.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; height: 300px; " title="One of Jimmy MacMillan's confections. (Courtesy of JMPurePastry)" />Perhaps meatballs are the new thing (though hopefully not for breakfast or dessert). But who decides such things? As a youth, I was a huge fan of cooking shows, but it never occurred to me that Jacques Torres could be changing the world with his fantastical fixations, like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-jqnqZdGr0">this ridiculous spun sugar witches hat for Halloween</a>. Does the trickle-down theory work when it comes to dessert trends?</p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.5515543504152447"><span style="vertical-align: baseline; ">Wednesday on <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, we tried to get the answer to that question from WBEZ&#39;s food blogger Louisa Chu, who, when I first asked her about this topic, reminded me that &quot;they keep trying to say macarons or whoopie pies are next.&quot;&nbsp;We also talked with&nbsp;</span></span><a href="http://jmpurepastry.blogspot.com/">Jimmy MacMillan</a>, who is an executive pastry chef who organizes the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicago-Restaurant-Pastry-Competition/207043465987713">Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition</a> (the 2nd annual event takes place this September).</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s interesting to think that there may be one chef or creative think-tank that&#39;s responsible for the next coolest trends, but it&#39;s not so simple,&quot; said MacMillan. &quot;It&#39;s kind of a collective unconscious of chefs working always to do things that are interesting for themselves. And a lot of your childhood memories come into play as we know, and then a way to refine those. So at some point, we all kind of come to the same conclusions.&quot;</p><p>&quot;For donuts, there&#39;s been a few examples out there, like the Doughnut Plant in New York City and you kind of think &#39;Wow, why don&#39;t we have those in Chicago?&#39;&quot; he continued. &quot;And now we do; we have lots of wonderful donuts.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I think it is actually chefs working who kind of push the envelope,&quot; said Chu. &quot;The other side too is also actually food media. It&#39;s kind of us who are out here who are covering the trends. And then also, what looks good -- well, that kind of sells a lot -- and us eaters. I know that chefs and the food media there for awhile have been saying &#39;Cupcakes are dead!&#39;&quot;</p><p>Chu clarified: &quot;It&#39;s a lot of different sources, but I&#39;d love to find that Wizard of Oz pastry chef too.&quot;</p><p>But how do these trends get to Chicago? Or do they start here?</p><p>&quot;It is somewhat true that when I travel the coasts, you do see some things first,&quot; said MacMillan. &quot;Chicago&#39;s great at innovating what&#39;s already out there. So if a Chicago chef does something, we&#39;re hyper-creative, so we&#39;re probably going to do it in a different way, and we have our own way and we have our own clientele and we have that thing that we&#39;re known for and that&#39;s for being dynamic and changing it and I can&#39;t think of any better group to be with. So sometimes it starts on the coasts...but things are out there and they&#39;re floating around and they end up in Chicago when the time is right.&quot;</p><p>MacMillan has his own prediction for the new trend, one that was surprising to Chu: &quot;Gelato in ways that you&#39;ve never seen before,&quot; he said. &quot;Molded gelato for plated dessert; magnificent flavors of much higher quality...Cupcakes are familiar, donuts are familiar, but this style of frozen dessert gelato will be organic, small farm, very artisan, &nbsp;hormone-free dairy, small batches. It&#39;ll be fantastic.&quot;</p><p>And though Chu was surprised by MacMillan&#39;s answer (though she quickly cited Swiss Chard gelato as something that&#39;s been done in Europe), question-asker Claire Reeder wasn&#39;t.</p><p>&quot;I kind of had a sense that this might be it....it&#39;s really hot around here right now. Everybody&#39;s looking for something cold. I&#39;ve seen some gelato places pop up, so I&#39;ll have to keep my eyes peeled.&quot;&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 27 Jun 2012 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/battle-pastries-doughnuts-vs-cupcakes-100437 Old Fashioned Donuts on the 75th National Donut Day http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-06/old-fashioned-donuts-75th-national-donut-day-99737 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/oldfashionedfritters.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 497px; " title="Apple fritters with and without walnuts Old Fashioned Donuts (Gary Wiviott)" /></p><p style="text-align: left; ">Today is not only <a href="http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/donut">National Donut Day</a> but its 75th annual year. It&#39;s not one of those random food holidays, like <a href="http://foodimentary.com/2012/06/01/june-1-national-hazelnut-cake-day/">National Hazelnut Cake Day</a> or <a href="http://foodimentary.com/2012/05/31/may-31-national-macaroon-day/">National Macaroon Day</a>, but actually a celebration commemorating those who&#39;ve fought the wars, in more way than one.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/oldfashioneddough.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 802px; " title="Time to make the apple fritters at Old Fashioned Donuts (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&quot;The holiday, held annually on the first Friday of June, was established by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army&#39;s &#39;Donut Lassies&#39; who served these treats to soldiers during World War I,&quot; says The SA website, &quot;This significant occasion established the donut as a long-standing symbol of the services The Salvation Army continues to provide.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/oldfashionedcounter.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 448px; " title="Order donuts here at Old Fashioned Donuts (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div><p style="text-align: left; ">Under the section &quot;75th Annual National Donut Day Fun Facts:...With limited resources, these treats were fried, sometimes only seven at a time. The Salvation Army&#39;s Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance cleverly thought of frying donuts in soldiers&#39; helmets.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: left; ">I really don&#39;t think that&#39;s a fun fact, but resourceful indeed.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/oldfashionedbox.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 448px; " title="Box top at Old Fashioned Donuts (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Old Fashioned Donuts isn&#39;t doing anything special for National Donut Day, but every day is a special donut day there. Or if it were up to me, apple fritter day. Sweet, fried dough connoiseurs know that&#39;s the thing to get at OFD.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/oldfashionedstools.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 448px; " title="Table seating at Old Fashioned Donuts (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Back to the Salvation Army, five years ago now I judged a <a href="http://flic.kr/s/aHsiSX4LfS">cake contest</a>, which left a lot of leftover cake. I made a few calls and my friend Gary Wiviott (whom you met in a previous post as the pitmaster who <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-05/make-no-little-plates-98827">makes no little plate</a>s) patched me through to his contact at the SA. Gary&#39;s cooked for SA charitable events for years, with a little help from his food friends.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Very soon, a truck arrived to pick up the perfectly edible cakes for dinner that night. The irony was that one of the SA&#39;s programs works in <a href="http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-dynamic-index/8326D9D2FE6B4C05802573250030A6E1?Opendocument">drug and alcohol rehabilitation</a>, and the theme of the cakes was wine. I was told the cakes would be cut up into serving portions in the kitchen.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">A sweet ending indeed.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Old Fashioned Donuts</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">11248 South Michigan Avenue</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">Chicago, Illinois 60628</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">773-995-7420</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; ">(NB: Closed Sundays)</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/salvationarmycakes.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Cake donation to Salvation Army (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 01 Jun 2012 09:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-06/old-fashioned-donuts-75th-national-donut-day-99737 Halloween food: Soul cakes and cider donuts http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-10-31/soul-cakes-and-cider-donuts-halloween-inspired-foods-93642 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-31/donut.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0602.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 412px; " title="Cider and pumpkin donuts at Apple Haus Bakery and Cider Mill in Long Grove, Ill. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>Last night at the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witching_hour">witching hour</a> I couldn&#39;t sleep so I decided to read a while about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween#Foods">Halloween foods</a>. I was surprised to learn about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_cake">soul cakes</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Legend has it that they were the ancestors to our Halloween candy and trick-or-treating tradition, but they carried more signficance: For every cake eaten, a soul was released from Purgatory. <a href="http://tsusanchang.wordpress.com/">T. Susan Chang</a>&nbsp;wrote&nbsp;on NPR&nbsp;in 2007 that their origin story and recipe, if there ever was a single one, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15536354">has been lost to the ages</a>.</p><p>I believe if the soul cake has a modern-day descendent, it must be the cider donut.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0606.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 412px; " title="Whole cider donut at Apple Haus (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0607.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 412px; " title="Cider donut crumb at Apple Haus (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>Or perhaps even its more elusive cousin, the pumpkin donut.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0603.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 412px; " title="Seasonal pumpkin donut at Apple Haus (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0604.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 412px; " title="Pumpkin donut crumb at Apple Haus (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>I&#39;ve been on a quest to find the perfect cider donut all my life. <a href="http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=16&amp;t=26064">An old thread on LTH Forum</a> revealed a few leads, but it was <a href="http://edzos.com/">Eddie Lakin, pre-Edzo&#39;s</a>, who&nbsp;conjured his childhood memory at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Grove-Apple-Haus/112096415470453">Apple Haus Bakery and Cider Mill</a>&nbsp;in Long Grove, Ill. that had me counting the minutes until I could visit one morning at 10 a.m. [Update: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=375132402500185&amp;id=112096415470453">Apple Haus closed in January 2012</a>. They occasionally sell their cider donuts at local festivals. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Grove-Apple-Haus/112096415470453">Follow their Facebook page</a> for news.]</p><p>You see, the Haus opens their doors then, so that&#39;s the soonest I could get them, the witching hour of donuts if you will.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0609.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 412px; " title="Apple Haus in Long Grove, Ill. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><p>I could smell them in the air as I walked up. When I left, the box was still warm, as if they held a living thing.</p><p>How were they? Magical. Suprisingly small, given our modern donuts, but heavy for their size, with a slightly crisp crust, capturing a riot of tumultous autumn spices in their moist and tender crumb.</p><p>Certainly each one more than enough to save a soul, or two.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-31/DSC_0596.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 932px; " title="Warm cider donuts cooling at Apple Haus (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p></p> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 18:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-10-31/soul-cakes-and-cider-donuts-halloween-inspired-foods-93642