Doughnuts and coffee have always gone together, just like Batman and Robin or bacon and eggs.
When I heard that the world famous American doughnut franchise Krispy Kreme had arrived in South Africa, I boarded the Gautrain and headed for Rosebank faster than you could say “I love doughnuts”.
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Krispy Kreme started out when Vernon Rudolph bought a secret yeast – raised doughnut recipe from a New Orleans French chef. After getting his hands on the secret recipe, Vernon rented a building in what is now historic Old Salem and began selling the doughnuts to local grocery stores. His doughnuts turned out to be so popular that he started selling them through a hole he had cut into the side of the building.
Through the years, many things had changed at Krispy Kreme, from the different shapes of doughnuts to the way that they are made. However, two things have stayed constant throughout all this time, their signature Original Glazed Doughnuts and the recipe used for all their doughnut batter.
When I arrived at Krispy Kreme in Rosebank we were greeted by quite a queue that snaked its way to just outside the door of the shop (this was in the middle of the week). Although we stood in the queue for quite a while, we were amazed at how quickly the friendly staff behind the doughnut counter were able to help customers. In no time at all, we found ourselves in front of the holy grail of doughnuts, a glass counter filled with all manner of exciting and sugar-rush-inducing treats. We expected that waiting in the queue would be the hardest part, little did we know that actually deciding on which of the different shapes, sizes and flavours of doughnuts we would like to try would be the real challenge.
After deciding on an assortment of doughnuts, including the Original Glazed doughnut as well as a Valentines inspired heart shaped and jelly filled doughnut, we ordered some coffee and took our precious stash of assorted rings of sugar to one of the surprisingly comfortable seating areas.
First off, let me just explain that although I am a fan of doughnuts in all shapes and flavours, I tend to not be very fond of overly sweet ones as I believe (in my humble opinion) that finding the right balance of sweetness is key in great tasting doughnuts. That said, the first doughnut I tried was the heart shaped doughnut called “The centre of my heart”. This doughnut is dipped in strawberry icing and filled with a strawberry jelly. I found the dough of the doughnut to be quite delicious and airy, but unfortunately, the icing along with the jelly filling proved too sweet for my taste buds. Next on the menu was the Peanut butter with chocolate drizzle, which I am glad to say I found really agreed with my taste buds. Something about the combination of peanut butter and the soft doughy doughnut just worked really well. Lastly, my favourite was the Original Glazed doughnut. As mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of overly sweet things, which is why I just found some of the doughnuts too sweet for my taste, but I found the Original Glazed doughnut to be a perfect balance between the sweetness of the glaze and the soft dough texture of the doughnut itself. In my opinion, it seemed that the original doughnut that was first sold by Vernon Rudolph all those years ago had stood the test of time.
The biggest surprise of the day though was how really great the coffee tasted. I had a Salted Caramel Latte, which was one of the best-flavoured lattes I have had in a long time. The combination of the saltiness of the caramel along with a tad of sweetness just worked so well with their house blend of coffee. Who would have thought that the coffee would turn out to be the star of our visit to Krispy Kreme?
In the end, I found that Krispy Kreme sold really interesting and unique doughnuts, which tasted quite good (even though I found some to be just a tad too sweet for me). Are these doughnuts the best that I have ever tasted? The short answer is no. Although they are tasty and quite enjoyable to eat, I found that some were just too much sugar and too little doughnut. I will say that the Original Glazed doughnut turned out to be quite a surprise and probably my favourite of the bunch. One thing I have to admit is that I definitely found myself being swept up by all the hype. I was finally able to visit a Krispy Kreme without having to pay for an airplane ticket.
My verdict? If you like doughnuts and coffee, do yourself a favour and visit Krispy Kreme, if only for the novelty of it. Most people should be able to find a doughnut that they like (if all else fails, try the Original Glazed doughnut) and they also make one good cup of coffee. The atmosphere is surprisingly fun and lively for a doughnut shop and we received some really good service from their very friendly staff. Overall, I felt that the day turned out quite successful. The only problem I faced was how I would be working off the extra calories I picked up from eating all those doughnuts.