("My Ultimate" will run most Tuesdays and will feature any topic that hops into my head. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the other New England Mamas. . . although they should).
When I was young, a visit to my grandmother's house all started the same way: kiss grandma and then find the donuts. Specifically, jelly donuts coated in granulated sugar.
She always had a little box of donuts in her kitchen. She worked in the (now defunct) Fernandez Supermarket Bakery (having a grandmother who works in a bakery can only be topped by having one that works in a candy store). Fernandez made some killer jelly donuts, right there on the premises.
By the time I was a teen, my grandmother was no longer working. Instead, I filled my donut cravings with New England's own Dunkin Donuts. On Saturday mornings my mom would drive down to the one location in our town and buy a dozen donuts. I could easily put away three in one sitting. They were fresh, sweet and gooey. My favorites were filled with something: Boston Creme; Chocolate Kreme Filled (which was basically a donut + frosting); Jelly Sticks. I also loved their "Chocolate Honey Dipped" donuts; I now suspect they were never actually coated in honey which is why they are now called "Chocolate Glazed".
My freshman year in college I was known as "The Donut Lady" because my on-campus job was at the breakfast cafe which offered only donuts and coffee. Is it any wonder that I had no problem putting on the Freshman 15 considering I started every weekday morning with two donuts?
After college, Dunkin Donuts must have hired a new CFO because it was around this time that my favorite filled donuts became, um, less filled. A jelly donut no longer squirted jelly out the other end when I bit. Chocolate Kreme Filled was a misnomer as I could no longer find the frosting inside the donut. A Jelly Stick was more like a crispy cake donut with the suggestion of jelly inside.
So when Krispy Kreme donuts came stampeding into New England to much fanfare, I was hopeful. Could these fill my craving for the 'perfect' donut? I really enjoyed the first Krispy Kreme I ate but found that anything other than the plain glazed donut was much too sweet for my taste. If you told me I could never have another one of these donuts again in this lifetime, I'd be ok with that. I'm just not a Krispy Kreme gal.
I AM, however, a Butlers gal. My brother-in-law introduced me to Butlers Colonial Donuts of Westport, MA several years ago. Just looking at the photos of their donuts makes my mouth water and my stomach do a little loop-de-loop of happiness. Michael Stern of Roadfood.com wrote, " In this little shop are the best donuts in Massachusetts; some believe the best in all the world." Butlers' donuts were that remarkable to me,which is why I almost wept when I heard the original owners had sold their business. However, it appears from the reviews that the new owners are doing a fine job carrying the weight of Donut Heaven on their shoulders. I cannot wait to find out for myself.
(ACK! Update! Check out The Brother-in-Law's update in the comments.)