Sons & Daughters of Dunks

Everyone knows that New England is the home of Dunkin’ Donuts.  Well, not everyone, just many people, and especially those who can’t get enough fried dough with lots of sugar.

It all started in 1950, in Quincy, Massachusetts, when Bill Rosenberg opened the very first Dunkin’ Donuts.  Affectionately known among New Englanders as “Dunk’s,” this company has become an enormous franchise with shops all over the planet.

And for good reason.

Delicious doughnuts, great coffee, and a well-trained staff that pours and serves fast.  The coffee is fresh and delicious.  The doughnuts–my favorite is the, “Old Fashioned,” which is a plain doughnut–are always the same, and really satisfying.

The profit margins on doughnuts, by the way, are phenomenal.  Only pizza comes close.  Unlike protein, which has a food cost as high as 33% of the price, the cost to make a doughnut–even a Bavarian creme!–is about 2%.  After all, it’s flour, sugar, eggs, and sugar, and salt, and sugar, and food coloring, and sugar.

So it’s no surprise that the big boon in Boston and everywhere else in the U.S. are doughnut shops and bakeries.  Variety!  Reliability!  And sugar!

Wylie Dufresne, star chef of what was WD-40, a fancy place, just opened a doughnut shop in NYC.  In Boston, in addition to new local doughnut shops, there are numerous bakeries where you can buy a sandwich and a soft drink for  between $15-18.  Good stuff!

So good, in fact, that Panera recently bought Tatte bakery.

And guess who bought Panera?

Krispy Kreme doughnuts!


The Merry Month of May

Absconded, captivated, captured, whatever, it’s been nearly a month since making note of what is, was, and will be.

There’s an explanation, there always is, even if it’s that the parallel bars in the window block the view of the prison yard below.

In my case, it’s just been a flurry of effort on what has emerged as an unanticipated work inspired by the lost boy on Hokkaido last summer.  Left in the mountains above Hakodate as punishment for his disobedient act of throwing stones at cars, he survived about a week among bears.

I hadn’t intended to start and stay on this project, it has just taken over a lot of my life.  I love the idea of the boy not fitting in and what it implies about families, communities, schools, and even nations.

Then, too, my piece on the ideology of Japanese cuisine was published a couple of weeks ago in University of California Press’s Gastronomica.   See below.

More immediately, we’re talking naps, reading about the disparagement of Korean communities in Japan historically, the reasons for youth unemployment in Japan, and the regimentation of Japanese high schools.

Hmmm…that’s not quite immediate.

Oh, immediate.  Well, that would be thick spears of white asparagus oven roasted, agnolotti stuffed with cheese, and, for some reason, bowls of good if not pricey ramen at a couple of good joints in town.