I can’t say I eat doughnuts from Doughnut Plant, a widely-beloved doughnut shop based in New York, too often. They’re a little rich for me (sorry, Geoff Dyer), and I just can’t stomach more than one bite.
But I guess it’s time to renege on that stance. On Monday, The New York Timesran a short piece on the rose-shaped doughnuts, dubbed "Doughflowers," that’ll be sold at Doughnut Plant, and I’ve totally fallen for them.
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These doughnuts are the invention of Doughnut Plant founder Mark Isreal. For Mother's Day, he decided to fashion delicate creases of yeast to resemble the petals of a rose. They come in three glaze options: strawberry, rosewater and crushed petals, and Italian blood orange (made with orange blossom water).
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They are, unfortunately, only available in Doughnut Plant’s New York locations for now. I doubt that’ll be for long. Isreal has decided to extend these offerings beyond Sunday, which is, to my mind, a savvy business decision. Acknowledging the aesthetic magnetism of rose-like foods, after all, is nothing new, though the rose is certainly enjoying quite a moment right now. And doughnuts, as Bloombergdeclared a few days ago, have reached a real precipice in the public imaginary, with too many variations to count; they are practically eating themselves. Just a hunch, but perhaps we're witnessing the index case of a doughflower mania that’s about to seize social media.
So here I am, maybe foolishly, calling it a trend before it ferments. I believe we'll probably see many more doughflowers in our near future. There's a good chance I’m dead wrong, but I’m not alone in my suspicion that this trend is about to take off; in fact, Food & Wine attributes the rose doughnut’s mere existence to our growing proclivity for “wacky” food. They've deemed the doughflower "weird."
Hm. I don’t see much that's weird about this. I’d say the rose doughnut is the spiritual sister to the terrarium cake, that soothingly pretty confection constructed with elegance and care. If this is weird, I don’t want to be normal.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.