There is not a dearth of bad opinions to be found on the internet. For the sake of our mental health it is imperative that we ignore most of them, but unfortunately there are the inevitable craw-stickers — those opinions that haunt your ten-minute meditation practice; those opinions you bring up after your second-and-a-half wine; those opinions that you are writing about today even though they were posted online two weeks ago. Those opinions shared by … your sister site, Grub Street?!
Oh my God, it’s true. Unfortunately — and I hate to do this — I must call out by name Chris Crowley, a co-worker of mine at New York’s Grub Street. Crowley recently shared an opinion so erroneous, so false, so another synonym for wrong that I have no choice but to address it here on the Cut. This is what he said about apple cider doughnuts, our beloved warm autumn joy, our dusty treat:
“Let’s be clear: Apple cider doughnuts are not bad. They are simply not special. We get excited to see them because we think they are a nice way to welcome the colder weather and the looming winter. …
It’s a trick to make us think they’ll carry some taste of the crisp autumn air and late-summer apple harvest. Remove yourself from this facade however, and taste them on their own. They taste like … plain doughnuts, with maybe a little cinnamon thrown in.
What’s the big deal?”
What’s the big deal? What’s the big deal? I am aghast. While apple cider doughnuts are maybe not the flashiest doughnut — they don’t have bacon on top, nor do they look like they’re from the Simpsons — they’re without a doubt one of the best.
One of the best!
I understand that it is perhaps not generally thought of as necessary to respond to a contrary opinion with what is thought of as the standard opinion (that apple cider doughnuts are great). However, in my life I have heard too many supposed doughnut fans criticize the apple cider doughnut as “boring” to acquiesce to the idea that it is an outlying opinion. Instead I believe it is an out (out there in the world) and lying (lying) opinion, thank you.
The apple cider doughnut is who it is, and it is everything it needs to be. It is gentle and warm. Is makes itself scarce, which is a blessing in this world of oversaturated, shameless blowhards, which I suppose in this comparison would be something like a jelly doughnut. It is there when you need it most: while you’re on a farm picking out pumpkins; while you’re at a store during the autumn season, getting whatever; when you’re at the park, and it is delivered to you warm from a truck.
Its scarcity is a blessing (some treats are worth waiting for, similar to what you learned in religion class), but this is not the apple cider doughnut’s main positive attribute. It is not “wrapped in a blanket of seasonal deception,” as Crowley says, as if it were something like eggnog. While it could be a good doughnut anytime, the apple cider doughnut is humble — it’s simply a good doughnut for now.
It is, yes, I suppose a plain doughnut with not “a little bit of cinnamon” but a lot a bit of cinnamon, and also sugar, just as a chocolate-covered doughnut is a plain doughnut covered in chocolate; just like the delicious maple doughnut I once got from a Tim Hortons at the Toronto airport was a plain doughnut with a maple glaze. This is how many doughnuts are put together and I simply do not see the issue. Also: The apple cider doughnut has an old-timey texture, which is perfect, as — I think you can agree — autumn is the most old-timey season.
Doughnut and cinnamon and sugar is a great combination. It’s simple enough that you can enjoy it with a coffee without feeling like you’ve indulged in a whole treat, even though you have, which is a nice gesture toward your psyche. It’s decadent enough that walking around in the crisp air with an apple cider doughnut in your hand feels like a true pleasure, and a moment to be savored. It tastes good enough that it is one of the best doughnuts.
And that’s the truth!