For being someone with a colossal sweet tooth, the fact that doughnuts never appealed to me was interesting. At no time did I not like doughnuts, but the feeling that a better option existed always lingered in my mind whenever the doughnut was at question— a croissant, a danish, a bagel. In writing this post, I’ve forced myself to dig deep within my psyche and answer the why: why did I never choose doughnuts?
A couple of reasons pop to the front of my brain in an attempt to answer the above-mentioned question. Was it because doughnuts reminded me of those circular powder balls that left my clothes dirty in the church auditorium after mass every Sunday growing up? Was it because I never really liked all that flavorless dough inside the doughnut (I did enjoy the Boston Cream variety, where the dough is substituted for a creamy custard)? Or was it really that I have been scarred by my brother Robert’s horrific adolescent experience in which he consumed an entire box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and then proceeded to vomit all over our beach house? I think I have hit the nail on its head.
Whatever the reason was, I never had much respect for the doughnut. In retrospect, like my post on rice pudding, I think this lack of desire grew out of a simple absence of good doughnuts. With the exception of a great Downyflake Doughnut tasting on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts—spear-headed by my mother, a doughnut lover herself having grown up eating homemade doughnuts made by her own mother—my doughnut experiences had been mediocre at best up until I smelled the fresh-cooking pieces of doughy goodness emanating from yet another hole-in-the-wall shop in La Paz. In a rush to get somewhere else, I vowed to make it back to the little dive.
I succeeded in returning and opted for an almond and sugar-crusted doughnut. The crumbly sugar and crushed almond dressing that covered the soft and sweet warm inside of the doughnut was just to die for. I could’ve eaten a whole box if I had wanted to! Yet, I didn’t want to end up like Robert so I just stuck with one. This very doughnut was not only the best I’d ever tasted, but one of the best pastries or morning snacks I’ve had. You know when you get to the bottom of a snack or meal and are just so sad that it’s all over? This doughnut left me with that yearning sensation alongside a daydream of doughnuts as I continued to explore La Paz.