On Wednesday mornings, our editorial staff meets to discuss top-secret things (hint: most of these things will arrive in your mailbox later this year, in the form of a glossy magazine packed with reported stories and beautiful photographs). Unfortunately, today that meeting was complicated by an overstuffed box of Dunkin’ Donuts donut holes—all flavors represented—sitting in the middle of our conference table.
BEFORE I CONTINUE, LET US NOTE I’m in strong favor of the spelling “donut.” So that’s what we’re working with here. If you’re a “doughnut” purist, let’s hear it in the comments.
I spent far too long staring at the box, trying to decide which flavors were worth the expendable calories—Chocolate glazed? Jelly? Powdered sugar? Is that one cinnamon sugar or just kind of burnt?
Desperate to decide and to validate my own list of favorites—don’t worry, said list comes below—I reached out to friends. And by that, I mean I tweeted about it.
To which I received a less-than-robust response (i.e. ZERO). So I tried again, using the day’s most popular hashtag.
Still nothing! I suppose underwear and donuts repel each other like oil and water. So I simply went to work on my own list.
While I think the list below is utterly definitive, my editor says I have to state that I don’t speak on behalf of Southern Living or any other human being aside from myself.
That said, I can’t imagine any sane person disagreeing with this list. But if you do, let’s hear it: What are your top three donut types? Sound off in the comments, ladies and gents.
THE DEFINITIVE LIST
1. CHOCOLATE GLAZED: This seems incredibly obvious to me, though the opinion has been met with rolled eyes and strangely exasperated sighs. Look, people like chocolate. And the plain glazed is a staple. Why wouldn’t you mix the two? That’s called progress people. Just like mixing bacon and bourbon. I don’t see anyone complaining about that. [NOTE: We’re not talking about the lazy abomination that is glazed donuts covered in chocolate. We’re talking about chocolate donuts, which are then glazed. The distinction is vital.]
2. CINNAMON SUGAR: What ever happened to you, dear old friend? A classic favorite that’s faded from view much like muscle cars, “American Pie” singalongs, and letting apple pie cool on a window sill. It’s not that anyone disliked the cinnamon sugar donut; they simply moved onto flashier things. But I believe in American industry. I believe in a time when children said “sir” and “ma’am.” I believe in democracy. I believe in freedom. I believe in bald eagles driving Corvettes down Highway 1 while blasting tracks by Springsteen, Tom Petty, and The Beach Boys. I believe in a simpler time, when you could wear a hat with a piece of paper that said “PRESS” and no one asked why you busted out your Halloween costume early. I believe in the satisfying crack of the bat on opening day. I believe in stretching during the Seventh Inning Stretch. And goshdarn it, I believe in the cinnamon sugar donut.
3. CAKE: Upon confiding in one friend my love for cake donuts, her response was, “That is horrible. You are a disgusting human being, and I no longer like you; in fact, I hate you.” The obvious takeaway here is that I need new friends, but also that there’s been an unfortunate smear campaign against the cake donut. Sure, it’s a little heavier, but it carries that weight with grace. IT DOESN’T NEED TO CHANGE JUST BECAUSE SOCIETY SAYS IT SHOULD. It’s a bold donut, willing to admit its admiration for cake. It never imitates—no one would confuse the soft sweetness of a cake donut for actual cake. Plus, sometimes it has surprise blueberries inside, and everyone loves surprise blueberries. SO WHO IS DISGUSTING NOW, SHARON*?
(*Sharon is not my former friend’s real name.)
Again, definitive as this list is, we’d love to hear your top three donuts in the comments. Or someone could just finally tweet at me, so I can stop drowning my feelings in donut holes.
Travis M. Andrews is an associate editor for Southern Living. Follow him on Twitter @travismandrews.