Stale Donuts: Isildur’s Bane

by Cecilia Mazumdar Stanger

Many foods are eaten within a certain socially acceptable window of time to avoid a raised eyebrow or a condescending smile. Some designations are shrewd, for example, coffee before bedtime gives even the Rip Van Winkle-y of us the jitters.

Morning donuts, however, make absolutely no sense.

For some reason I found myself in the grocery store at 7 A.M. the other day. Here I encountered rows and rows of beautiful, fresh donuts. There wasn’t a single fingerprint on the glass display case.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make a jelly-filled delight the first thing I ate that day. I had to go with the donut’s dense cousin — the bagel.  Sure, some people enjoy that sugar rush in the morning, but I find that it leaves me empty and afraid by noon.

Donuts at night are another matter entirely. They’re an ideal movie food. Snuggy, donut, glass of wine and WALL-E? Sounds like the perfect evening. But nighttime donuts are horrible.

If you want a donut at 10 P.M. and don’t want to make the trek to Glam Doll Donuts,  it’ll be the last one in the gas station display. And somebody probably already picked it up that day and went “eh, I’d rather have a glazed-raised,” and put it back on the crusty tray. Even if you did choose it, and it was a good one (let’s say chocolate with sprinkles) — it’s long dead! Nighttime donuts aren’t fluffy anymore! They’ll crumble in your hand like Sauron’s finger in that scene from Lord of the Rings.

If only one could amble into a pastry shop at midnight and find a Wonka-esque display of cake donuts, raised donuts, filled donuts, crullers, long johns and fritters.

Maybe I’m just watching too many episodes of “Twin Peaks” after dark.