The Best Donuts in America

There are few things in this world that I love more than a hot, glaze covered donut. That’s why I was so intrigued when I saw the headline “The Best Donuts in America” while reading “Business Insider” Sunday night.

They started their countdown with a foie gras donut from Brooklyn, and I knew right away this wasn’t going to be a list meeting my approval. A gooey, jelly center, or a smothering of chocolate is one thing, but I hope I never bite into a donut and discover duck liver.

Curious to see how far they might disgust me, I continued reading and had my appetite return in full force with the Chocolate glazed donuts from Do-Rite in Chicago. These donuts were half dipped in chocolate and then had another dollop of chocolate slathered on the top half of one side. I decided I needed to flip the page quickly before I started licking my iPad.

Next up was a Tres Leche donut from New York. It appeared to be your standard cake donut, which I’ve never been too keen on. If I want cake, I’ll cut a slice. I want a donut.
I was intrigued by the “hot, fresh Lemon Bar Donut” from Philadelphia. It was covered in a thick glaze and then sprinkled with brown sugar.

The “Chocolate Crunch donut” from California appeared to be covered in Milk Duds and was said to taste like an “upscale Nestle Crunch bar.” I love each of those things separately, so let’s keep it that way.

The top four began with Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Freshly fried beignets lathered in powdered sugar – it doesn’t get much better than that.

The bright red of a hibiscus donut from Brooklyn burned my eyes just looking at it. I love to see a beautiful hibiscus bloom in my back yard. Not certain I want it on my donut.

The ugliest of the list was clearly the Bacon Maple Bar at Voodoo Donut in Portland, Oregon. It looked more like a flattened foot-long sub sandwich. The football shaped donut was covered with a sweet maple sauce resembling caramel icing and then two pieces of bacon. My hunch is it probably tastes great, if you can get past its looks.

Their number one selection was an Apple Fritter from Bob’s Donut Shop in San Francisco. I love a good apple fritter, but I don’t necessarily consider them donuts.

A true accounting of quality donuts for my taste would be far more traditional in approach.
If I was making my own list I would have to start with a donut from Tato-Nut in Ocean Springs.

Then venture North to the Shipley’s on Hardy Street in Hattiesburg. There are numerous Shipley’s around, but there’s something about that Hardy Street store that always taste better to me.

Honest Abe’s in Greenwood puts out some world class donuts. Lately, I’ve become a fan of the Donut Barn in Madison, too.

There are two more that will forever be on my all-time donut list. There is the obvious choice of Krispy Kreme. It’s one of the few times in life you’re thrilled beyond words to see blue lights flashing.

My list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my mom. She would take canned biscuits; shape them into rings; fry them on the stovetop; and then roll them around in powdered sugar.

I don’t know if everybody’s mom made them homemade donuts, but I’m going to confidently say they can’t top my mom’s.

You may email Joel McNeece at joelmcneece@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @joelmcneece