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What's the world coming to, anyway?

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Jun 24, 2003

Krispy Kreme? Dunkin Donuts? No way!

Okay, so I was going to write an essay about distributism and the scary possibility that we will have no where to shop in a few years thats a building under an acre, but instead I'll rant about doughnuts.

Today is the solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist. By rights, we should have headed out after the 7 am Mass at the Abbey to the oft (well, every time a solemnity rolls around)-mourned Betty Jane's on High Street.

Now those were doughnuts. Granted, the experience of buying them was not for the faint of heart. First you had to dodge the dripping air conditioner above the doorway. Then you had to just not think about how the place hadn't been cleaned, much less redecorated, since about 1952. And I'm not sure why the air conditioner was dripping, because inside there was no evidence of conditioned air -- the air in fact was pure cigarette smoke.

But Mary smiled at you kindly and sold you a baker's dozen of the best most delectable concoctions you ever want to smack your lips on, for four dollars, US. She carefully put them in a cardboard box and then wrapped the box in string.

Inside the box were really really big, substantial crullers, crusted in lovely glaze, with a faint aroma of orange. Cider doughnuts, with mouth feel umami-- the Japanese word for that indefinable something that makes a dish wonderful-- try adding mushrooms, tomatoes, anchovies-- but not to doughnuts, of course. We super-tasters know there is more to life than salty, sour, sweet, and bitter). Cranberry doughnuts : you can't believe how good those were.

But Mary and whoever that was out back who made those little morsels of goodness decided that 2 centuries was long enough for them to be slaving over a hot doughnut kettle, and as there were no buyers for the business, they closed.

I just can't bring myself to buy DD-- even though there are two outlets on the way to the now defunct Betty Jane's. And how can people --even Big Dig workers who admittedly are probably not super-tasters now, if they ever were, after working for several decades under the streets of Boston-- bring themselves to compare DD with KK? Who cares?

I wish we could still get those doughnuts on big feast days. I would rather brave the necessity to keep away from the walls at Betty Jane's than be left with a choice between Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme.

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