How to Eat a Donut

When I was 15 I had a friend in the UK who’s parents let her eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She had a junk food budget for sweeties, hot chips and cans of soda. Her dinners were usually pies with chips and frozen peas, pizza or McDonalds. At the time, as I sat eating my apple and tofu (I went through a self-induced vegan phase) I was secretly jealous of the laxity of parental restrictions on her diet and her high metabolism that allowed her to eat all this without a second thought to her weight. With hindsight I recognise how lucky I was to have parents who not only provided a home cooked meal every night, but even tolerated my teenage dietary phases. Yet, at the time all I wanted was to be able to eat all that she ate.

So, what does this have to do with eating a donut? One day, with her daily junk food money in hand she went and got donuts for us to all share. The donuts weren’t anything special, just a typical jam filled piece of fried dough with some sugar coating from the local supermarket, but this particular day would change how I approach my donuts forever more.

My friend brought the donuts out to the table after pouring us all a cup of tea. I’m fairly certain I had decided that donuts were vegan friendly (I wasn’t the strictest with my diet) and so duly reached into the bag to grab my portion. Before I could sink my teeth greedily in my friend stopped me and put a plate, fork and knife down in front of me.

“Eat it with a knife and fork.” She stated.


She persisted saying that donuts tasted better when eating them with a knife and fork. Once I realised she wasn’t joking and she really did expect me to eat it with cutlery I gave in and tried it out. And surprisingly, despite being a simple, run of the mill, store bought jam donut – it did indeed taste better than it should have. How could this be?

There are times to have greasy, sugary fingers. There are times when eating donuts with cutlery is neither practical nor realistic. And, honestly, nine times out of ten I don’t eat donuts with cutlery. However, the reality is that stopping, pausing and appreciating what you have in front of you, taking the time to respect the creation that is on your plate, will change how you approach that food. You’ll savour it more, notice the experience and surrounding environment. One of the greatest things for me in writing this blog is that I’ve retreated back to my 15 year old self, hypothetical knife and fork in hand, as I stop and savour that donut. I take into account the situation and experience in which I’m having the donut, I pause to tastes it’s flavour and feel it’s texture.

So, to help press the pause button and to help you appreciate the donut you are eating more, I’ve provided a few simple tips. Not all need to be followed at once, but I guarantee a more enjoyable and rounded experience should you try.

Donut eating tips

  1. Eat them fresh and don’t refrigerate.
    Cold from refrigeration equals a stale donut, dry icing and stale sprinkles.
  2. If you insist on sticking your donut in the fridge, do not microwave to reheat.
    That’s just nasty. See Tip 1, and stop refrigerating.
  3. Try eating your donut with a knife and fork.
    While not compulsory, they say variety is the spice of life.
  4. See the donut as a treat or reward.
    Something to build up to and look forward to.
  5. Don’t just eat it cause it’s there.
    You know those mini donuts that come in the multipack containers, the ones that are always at a work breakfast meeting? Don’t waste your time. We tend to mindlessly grab one and to what ends? Does it actually taste fresh or nice? Of course not, it’s just sugar and grease – save up the calories for a great mouth feel moment.
  6. Pick the situation.
    Don’t just shove one in your mouth in the car outside the shop, surrounded by fumes and whilst trying to drive simultaneously. Again avoid the mindless eating. Atmosphere counts and could harm true enjoyment.
  7. Either cut or pull the donut apart to consume, rather than just taking a huge bite in.
    Appreciate the density as you seperate strands on the dough, look at the spring and smell the freshness and hear the crunch of the topping. Donut eating is a 5 senses experience, utilise them.
  8. Pick the best bakery in the area, then pick the nicest looking one on the shelf.
    It’s your money and waist, might as well make it worthwhile.
  9. If it doesn’t taste nice, if it’s stale or you’re not enjoying it – just stop eating it.
    It’s not worth ruining the donut name.
  10. Don’t buy donuts that are mass produced, turned out from a factory and all look the exact same.
    Appreciate what’s home made, their creator and baker. Support the locals and the tradition of Australian bakeries.

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