The morning of March 23, 2018 started out like any other: I listened to Go Flex by Post Malone as I got ready for work; I hop, skipped, and jumped to the train station; then I proceeded to eat a hefty piece of green tea swiss roll cake for breakfast. And then another Entenmann’s mini cake that my boss brought in for me. Lunch was chicken and salad as expected, with a chocolate cake afterwards. It was a normal birthday, and I expected a few more slices of cake to accompany my dinner later that evening. Until…
I came home to a dark apartment. Weird because my boyfriend always gets back before me. After 15 minutes of twiddling my thumbs, Connor barreled through the door, bearing his birthday gift to me and a mysterious package that looked like it contained pastries.
These were not just pastries, no no. They were a half dozen doughnuts from my favorite doughnut shop in New York City: Dough Doughnuts. A birthday gift from my thoughtful seester on the West Coast.
I was THRILLED when I opened the box. How did she know I like doughnuts??? The Blood Orange and Dulce de Leche were already two of my favorites. Hibiscus and Passion Fruit were on my ‘To Try’ list. And the Nutella and Toasted Coconut, well, talk about unsung heroes.
Why is Dough my favorite? For starters, they are THICC, with a yeast based, brioche-like dough several inches high. Definitely not a first date spot as they fall into the “unhinge your jaw to take a bite” category of too tall foods to eat. I also like them for the price and flavor creativity. At $3.50 each, you get a full sized, stick-to-your-ribs meal. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a whole Dough Doughnut in one sitting.
That poses quite the problem when your sister sends you a six pack and your boyfriend doesn’t eat empty carbs. Now, I’d never done this before, and science says I probably shouldn’t, but doughnuts don’t exactly keep very long. In addition to of all of the birthday cake I had consumed that day, I decided I would give eating 6 doughnuts in 60 hours the old college try.
Most doughnut companies say “best consumed that day” and “we don’t ship because donuts don’t keep” and “don’t refrigerate” and “blah blah blah”. Here’s the trick: If you lower your standards enough, you can eat donuts for up to 3-4 days after purchase. These 12 hour freshness claims grossly overestimate my definition of ‘good food’. I don’t care if it’s soggy (in fact, soggy is one of my favorite textures of food), it’s all about taste, and if the doughnut is worth it’s snuff, the icing will withstand A WEEK of sitting out. Well maybe not a week, but more than 12 hours.
To start out 23 strong, I decided to challenge myself to eat all 6 dough beasts in one weekend. What follows is the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual journey I underwent while testing my limits and my supposed new, one year older wisdom.
- Hour One (7:30PM): I approach the box like I would any other. I take a bite or two out of each fresh doughnut, taking down tasting notes while simultaneously claiming them all as mine so I don’t have to share. I then went out to get birthday drinks with friends.
- Hour Three (10:30PM): I set goals. If I eat a doughnut with/as every meal, I could be done by Sunday night… But is a visit to the hospital from a sugar and oil overload worth a doughnut consumption PR? I finished off the Passion Fruit, noting the pleasant tartness and crunchy cacao nibs.
- Hour Sixteen (11:30AM): I woke up still full, with some regrets about having two cakes for breakfast the day before. I continued to nibble at the various flavors throughout the day, until I remembered my strategy: one per meal. Breakfast was the 3/4 left of Blood Orange, an all time favorite. I ate the dried orange, but I’m not sure if you’re supposed to. I have a bad habit of eating plate garnish not realizing it’s only for show. Regardless, this garnish was chewy and yummy.
- Hour Twenty (3:30PM): Morale dips. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m nearly three doughnuts in, too far to call for help. I roll myself to the kitchen and manage to put in some work on the Hibiscus and Nutella. It is too much. I must rest, for I am sick.
- Hour Twenty Eight (11:30PM): I come back from dinner and a show in the city. Real food offered brief respite. I stand in the kitchen in a stare off with the DOUGH stamp on the box. I know what I must do. After it is done, I dust the powdered sugar off my face, ridden with gluttonous guilt. Connor pins me down and spit-fingers the deliciously gooey Nutella filling off of my cheeks. The carnage is seemingly everywhere. What has become of my life?
- Hour Thirty Eight (9:30AM): My body has begun to process carbs as a protein. This is both useful and terrifying. I put the hibiscus doughnut on my breakfast plate with my eggs, and again, I eat the garnish. Jaw fatigue is beginning to set in. I yearn for my old life.
- Hour Forty Four (3:30PM): The pieces of the remaining two doughnuts have taken on a dry, crumb cake-like texture. I try eating the Dulce de Leche doughnut upside down, icing first, but I cannot taste anymore. The sweet tartness that once greeted my tongue seems dull now. I would think I was licking a stone were it not for the remarkable, signature crunch of the crispy almond topping.
- Hour Forty Seven (6:30PM): Boyfriend asks if I want ice cream. I do. I say two scoops. He gives me four. I thus have ice cream for dinner. My cells cry out for nourishment.
- Hour Forty Nine (8:30PM): My body is numb. I can feel neither hunger nor fullness. Nor compassion but that is a separate non-related issue. All that remains is the toasted coconut. I can’t, but I must.
- Hour Sixty (7:30AM): The time has come. I awaken to my alarm after a fitful night’s sleep. Visions of sugared doughnuts danced in my head all night long, in a cannibalistic sacrifice sort of way. I feel mocked.
- Hour Sixty Three (10:30AM): It is my usual breakfast time. I make a cup of tea to dunk my doughnut in. I imagine this is what eating hardtack was like for the soldiers in the Civil War. I can barely chew for the dryness in my mouth. It is absolutely delicious, despite being mildly inedible. Shaking the coconut crumbs off my shirt, I smile. It is done. I am victorious.
Looking back, I managed to eat them all by channeling the can-do spirit that built America. My journey to consume 6 donuts in 60 hours (not a vlog but definitely could have been), was an education and inspirational one. I feel that in writing down my experience, I was able to capture the true essence of the human spirit.
I may not have been quite able to finish the full half dozen in my set time frame, but 6 in 60 has a better ring to it than 6 in 72.
*Coffee review still unknown.
Flavor: 9/10 – The flavorful icing definitely gets a shout out here. While the company’s overall menu is pretty stagnant year-round, they do have a white chocolate matcha pop up I have yet to catch. So far, no flavor has let me down.
Bang for Buck: 8/10 – $3.50 each with donut holes and Doughkas (inspired by the Jewish Babka) available too, I think the massive size complements the price well.
Aesthetics: 8/10 – Can we talk about how all of Dough’s doughnuts seem to gleam? What kind of baby oil are they spraying their doughnuts with? Regardless, there’s an incredible mix of textures and toppings available, all which make for a beautiful picture. All three locations are styled with rustic wood for a hip, industrial vibe and Instagram backdrops galore.
P.S. Sometimes I find crumbs on my laptop and I don’t even ask what they are i just eat them.