Friends, I have a confession. Y’know how sports are the utmost reverenced and widely accepted pinnacle of American culture? Well, I have never cared for these competitive sportsball games, of any kind.
But this year I’ve learned there is one competition I can get behind, one where everyone ends up a winner (ish).
Donut Fest is an annual celebration—held in Chicago, New York, and Cleveland—which invites the best local restaurants and bakeries to bring their doughnut A-game in hopes of receiving the most votes to earn the title of “Best Donut.”
The most rewarding part about being a fan of this sport is its simplicity: you show up, you receive tickets, you give the tickets to the booths, you get donuts and coffee, and then, finally, you eat the donuts, release several satisfying moans and wonder why you haven’t been starting every morning prior to this very moment with donuts.
The worst part was definitely having to wake up at 6am on a Sunday, but it was a small price to pay to have been granted early access to donut heaven before the general public and earning the official title of “Donut V.I.P.” which, for the record, better be engraved onto my future tombstone.
This year’s Donut Fest featured 11 donut vendors including Chicago donut staples like Stan’s Donuts, Glazed and Infused, and Doughnut Vault and suburban underdog shops like B’s Sweet Bites (Des Plaines), DeEtta’s Bakery (Naperville), and Gurnee Donuts (Gurnee).
Left to Right: S’mores (Beavers Donuts), Chocolate Sour Cream Old Fashion (DeEtta’s Bakery), Mango Sriracha (Glazed and Infused), Pretzel Style Donut (B’s Sweet Bites), Dark Chocolate Butter Finger (Stan’s Donuts), Cinnamon Sugar (Beavers Donuts), Cookies ‘n’ Cream (Doughnut Vault), Mint Chocolate Chip (Glazed and Infused), Vanilla Glazed with Sprinkles (Cochon Volant)
I wish I could say that I didn’t eat 80 percent of what is pictured above in one sitting—in addition to the donuts from 4 other vendors that I ate immediately because I sadly only have two hands—but I did. #Healthy #CleanLiving
However, as justification, it was for the greater good. As a Donut V.I.P., it was my duty to assess the flavors of each donut and cast my vote for the most deserving candidate.
I did my best to leave my predisposition for Glazed and Infused’s donuts far from my decision-making, and ended up casting my vote for Gurnee Donuts’ Buko Pandan, a young green coconut glazed donut inspired by a popular Filipino dessert.
The official judges awarded DeEtta’s Bakery of Naperville with a trophy for their Chocolate Sour Cream Old Fashion, while the crowd deemed Doughnut Vault’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream best in show.
Until next week!