Dear Dunkin' Donuts:
Why do your doughnuts suck so badly?
It wasn’t always this way. I can distinctly remember, as a young girl in the 1980s, when my parents would bring my sister and me for a doughnut after church just a stone’s throw from your flagship Quincy store. It was the high point of my week (the doughnut, not church). Despite the threat of burning in the fiery bowels of hell, I would spend the entire sermon lusting after the tasty fried ring of dough that would soon be mine, and agonizing over the ever-looming dilemma: Boston Krème v. Chocolate Honey-Dipped.
They each had their charms: sweet, gooey cream in a heavenly pillow of dough topped with finger-licking chocolate frosting, or cakey chocolate dough with a hint of spice (Cardamom? What was that flavor?) fried until crispy on the outside and enrobed in the sweetest, most divine coating ever to grace a nook or a cranny. And nooks and crannies there were in abundance, thereby vastly increasing the amount of surface area to which the glaze could adhere.
After silently debating the pros and cons of each throughout Communion, and double-checking my work while offering each other the sign of peace, I had my answer. Chocolate Honey-Dipped, all the way. By the time I held it in my trembling hands, and took a bite, I was sure there must be a god. My prayers had been answered.
But, somewhere between 1985 and 2006, something went terribly, terribly wrong. These days, when I turn to my favorite doughnuts for comfort, someone posing as a purveyor of fine pastries hands me something that looks like a greasy sponge. And it tastes like one, too.
Where are all the nooks and crannies? What happened to the glaze? Why do they look so small and unnaturally round. Frankly, it feels like a slap in the face.
What happened? Did the secret recipe die with the “Time to Make the Donuts” guy? Really, you should have written it down. Or was the technique too expensive to maintain during your quest for total doughnut market domination? Perhaps, you were trying to keep up with trends or changing tastes? Whatever the reason, I’ve got news for you, what you have come up with is NOT GOOD. Perhaps, you haven’t noticed the complete lack of doughnut-dunking going on.
Here’s my advice. Spend some time in a quality doughnut shop. No, not Honey Dew -- they stink, too. I was going to say Verna’s in Cambridge, but word is you finally succeeded in running them out of business. Thanks.
Might I recommend the Hole-in-One in Eastham or The Hole in Orleans. Get comfortable and remind yourself of what a good chocolate honey-dipped doughnut really tastes like. Better yet, try their sour cream glazed doughnuts. It may take some effort not to soil yourself -- don't worry, this is normal. Take copious notes, and then, without infringing on anyone’s intellectual property, please make some improvements. After all, do you really want to encourage people to taint those delicious cups of Joe with substandard doughnuts? One can’t live on coffee alone.
I’m sure you don’t have a lot of time to answer sincere letters like this one, what with all the early-morning baking that goes on and the rigorous coursework over at Dunkin’ Donuts University. Still, I would be curious to know the time line and specifics of the decision-making that brought your once-exalted donuts to such a spectacular low.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
P.S. Your other baked goods aren’t so hot, either, but they don’t feature quite so prominently in your name.
P.P.S. I told my dad you’d call him and explain why I’m agnostic.