Last night I had a hankering for Mexican food. I should have just driven through the drive through at Taco Bell. What I would have ordered there would have been just as authentic and not nearly as labor intensive than anything I could prepare in the kitchen, but I took a trip to the grocery store instead. While walking up and down the aisles looking for products with cartoon senoritas on the label, that alert me to the fact that this is what advertising executives think Mexican Nationals eat, I veered off course and stumbled into the bakery department. I try to stay out of this department, not because I don’t like baked goods, but because I normally have a small child with me. Fresh baked cookies, when mixed with an individual under the age of 12 have the same effect as crack. Since I didn’t have the boy in tow, I decided to stay for a while and admire all of the powdered, sugary deliciousness.
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m pretty skilled at turning down the advances of a Bundt cake. I can walk away from a loaf of bread like nobody’s business. I can even laugh in the face of chocolate cheesecake. My Achilles heel is the doughnut. I love them more than Rick James loves cocaine, more than Liza Minnelli loves gay men and yes, even more than Joanie loves Chachi . Surrounded by a sea of delectability, there I stood face to face with a table full of every variety imaginable. Before I knew it, I had my hands around a package of chocolate glazed heaven and had abandoned my pilgrimage to the produce department to procure tomatoes.
In my mind, there is no food product more perfect than the doughnut. They are portable, versatile, and can be complimented just as well by coffee, as they are by tequila. I know this because I have actually had tequila and doughnuts for dinner, don’t judge me on this culinary exploration, I was in college when I discovered this. If you want to judge me on something, I had tequila and gummy bears for dinner a few weeks ago; I can honestly say it wasn’t nearly as delightful as the doughnut coupling, but tasty nonetheless.
Doughnuts can usually be found traveling in herds of 12, but any skilled hunter will normally be satisfied with picking off one or two stragglers. They can be powdered, glazed, drenched in chocolate, sprinkled, cream centered or, for you heath conscious folks, filled with fruit.
Every civilization worth knowing about has their own version of the doughnut. The French have the Beignet. Germans make the Bismark. Italians celebrate the Fritole and the Zippuli. The good people of Thailand chow down on Paa Thong Koh. I suspect that this world-wide phenomenon, more than crop circles and pyramid construction, supports the theory that intelligent life visited our fledgling planet in 3100 B.C., and imparted its inhabitants with the information it truly takes to build a thriving society.
If Marie Antoinette would have said “Qu’ils manget de la beignet” instead of suggesting the angry, hungry people of France eat cake, she might have been spared the guillotine…because everyone knows doughnut eaters are happy and non-violent sort. If the Spaniards would have packed up Churros, along with whatever the disease they brought to the Native Americans, they might have been able to encourage the Indians to cooperate more easily. There would be no debate about whether Christopher Columbus was a murderer and responsible for the enslaving of thousands of indigenous people. Hell, I showed up for work on a regular basis for years because there was the promise of doughnuts on Friday mornings, I don’t think the Native American’s would have done any differently.
Lastly, I would like to point out the symbolism of the shape of the doughnut. It is a circle; one could infer that this means that there is no beginning or end to its deliciousness. Yes, I am implying that as well as appealing to your taste-buds, the doughnut can help you achieve that moment of Zen you may have been looking for all your life.