What Defines a Truly Great Doughnut?

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Doughnuts are my danger food. Doughnuts are the food I generally don't really let myself near because I can't eat just one and, frankly, always feel really lousy and not all that satisfied or well-fed after eating a few. From apple fritters to cream-filled bars and gooey raspberry confections — I love them all. 

So when my boyfriend claimed that doughnuts remind him of brie in the sense that when they're bad, they're still kind of good, it got me thinking. He's right. I've never had a truly awful doughnut. So what, then, makes an exceptional one?

Is it even possible to define what makes a good doughnuts given all the varieties and flavor preferences out there? There are glazed people and raised doughnuts people. There are bar people and fritter people. But beside all of that, I think a truly great doughnuts will have a few all-encompassing traits. 

First, it should have a sweet aroma and nice, yeasty flavor — with or without the frosting. It shouldn't rely on frosting or glaze to make or break it. And then when it comes to frosting, it shouldn't be sickeningly sweet and it won't leave a film in your mouth (generally caused by hydrogenated oils). 

Instead, the frosting will complement the flavor of the donut and will leave you wanting more. Last, a truly great doughnuts can be eaten on its own — although nice with coffee or milk, it doesn't need it and should never leave your mouth feeling dry. 

These are, of course, my feelings on my #1 danger food but I'd love to hear yours. Whether you make your own doughnuts at home or love to buy them out, what do you think makes a truly great one?

(Image: Nealey Dozier)

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