Thursday, December 19, 2013

City Reliquary Praises The Doughnut

City Reliquary, a small museum in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is currently dedicating its exhibit room to New York City's relationship to the doughnut.

Titled "Keep Your Eye Upon The Doughnut," the exhibit relies on the impressive collection of a dedicated doughnut fan, Julie Thompson, a former Brooklyner. New York's first doughnut shop was in Manhattan near Maiden Lane. It opened in 1673 and was owned by Anna Jorlaemon. A Dunkin Donuts is very close to that intersection now.

Among the historical highlights: hot doughnuts were served to immigrants upon their arrival to Ellis Island, the significance of doughnuts on the WWII war effort, and the expansion of Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme. The Donut Creed, which inspired the exhibit's title, and ephemera from current and past doughnut slingers are also on display.

Obviously, this was my favorite item:

The Doughnut Corp of America was based in Ellicott City. In 1945 it received an award from the War Food Administration for its "splendid record in supplying donut mix to the armed forces, allies, and home front workers." How would growing up in Maryland have changed if doughnuts had been as important to America in the early 2000s as they were in the '40s?

Nine New York City shops are profiled in the exhibit: Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop, Doughnut Plant, Mike’s Donuts & Coffee, The Donut Pub, Doughnuttery, Dun-Well Doughnuts, Shaikh’s Donuts, Dough, and Carpe Donut NYC. I made it to two on Tuesday.

The Donut Pub is in front of the 14th Street 1, 2, and 3 train. I've passed it dozens of times, wondered what was inside, and kept going. (Which, admittedly, is out of character.) As my friend and I finished our shared doughnut, we heard a pair enter saying the same thing: "I always pass but never come in." So at least we weren't alone.

The Donut Pub is open 24 hours a day. We shared a plain, old fashioned. It was the best old fashioned doughnut I'd ever had, and I usually hate cake doughnuts. You have my heart, Donut Pub.

We also went to The Doughnuttery, located in the Chelsea Market. The Doughnuttery serves miniature doughnuts, and ours were made to order. The minimum order is six, but we were allowed two flavors, where are served via sugar. (We chose gingerbread and potato maple bacon.)

The doughnuts were good, but a little doughy. At $1 each, and a $6 minimum, they're out of my price range.

When the holidays have passed, I hope to visit Shaikh's.

The City Reliquary exhibit closes in February.

No comments: