Food Stuff

Jan 13, 1999 at 12:00 am


"Krispy Kremes are to other doughnuts what angels are to people."

"Kind of like fried nectar puffed up with yeast."

"The experience is akin to eating one’s pillow at that moment when it is so deliciously, impossibly comfortable that you can’t get out of bed."

That’s what other writers have said about hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I’ll add that they melt in your mouth, literally, and are an excellent way to satisfy your sugar jones and fat craving at once.

Besides tasting really good and feeling really light on the tongue, Krispy Kremes are revered by two generations of Southerners as part of being raised up right.

At the brand new Krispy Kreme franchise (4345 S. Telegraph, Dearborn Heights, 313-563-8748), I asked what the customers were saying.

"They talk about Alabama a lot," said the staffer.

Krispy Kreme has expanded northward only in the last few years, winning converts more easily than Billy Graham.

Operations manager Lois Kerr says she hears 20 stories a day. "People come up to you with this glazed look in their eyes," she says. "Usually they’re like, ‘Oh, Krispy Kreme, I was brought up on those. We came every Sunday after church.’"

Customers drive for miles to buy 10 dozen at a time, and Kerr has used Federal Express to ship dozens to "fanatics."

What’s the secret? Part of it is the ambience: The retro striped awnings and the logo in its down-home script, the photos of happy employees from the ’40s and ’50s on the walls and, most of all, the red neon "Hot Now" sign, lit up when the original glazed confections are warm from the fryer.

You can watch 270 dozen golden rings per hour make their way through gallons of hot fat and under a waterfall of permafrost glaze. These simple glazed originals are the biggest sellers, and really the only reason to come to Krispy Kreme.

The five other varieties I tried (cinnamon bun, maple iced, chocolate iced, glazed devil’s food, and traditional cake) were nothing special, and the chocolate ones were a lot more sugary than chocolatey.

The doughnuts are priced to move by the dozen: 55 cents for one, $4.39 for 12. If you can’t eat 12 at once, freeze ’em, and when you’re ready, let them come to room temperature and then nuke for a few seconds. Kerr says customers who drive 100 miles to get Krispy Kremes swear by this method.

The Krispy Kreme drive-through is open 24 hours, and the Hot Now sign is usually on 5 a.m.-9 a.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Warning -- although light on the palate, the sensation you have after eating them is the same as with any other doughnut: They’ll remind you all day long that they’re there.

A second Krispy Kreme will open February 16 on Van Dyke between 13 Mile and 14 Mile, and a third is due next summer in Novi. - Jane Slaughter


Think you make good chicken soup? Enter your recipe in Temple Kol Ami’s Ultimate Chicken Soup Contest by calling 248-661-0040 for an official entry form, and get cooking. Entries must be postmarked by January 31. ... Make a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving next time you’re shopping at Merchant of Vino/Whole Foods Market (corner of Maple and Coolidge in Troy, 248-649-9600). The nonprofit is the January beneficiary of the grocery store’s canister donation program.