Thursday, December 23, 2004
The pleasure derived from a warm fresh French or French cruller doughnut is almost beyond description. It's a very different kind of doughnut than say an old-fashioned. It is light and crispy and almost eggy in the center. While many doughnuts are made from yeast based batter, the cruller is made from pate a choux (pronounced: pat-a-shoo). A doughnut seems like a very decadent indulgent thing, yet according to Dunkin' Donuts a cruller will only set you back 150 calories.
The French cruller is a doughnut that has a long history in the Northeast where it was traditionally made in a braided rather than round shape. Why it's called a French cruller I cannot say for sure. Cruller comes from the Dutch word krulle, meaning "twisted cake." Perhaps the French part refers to the French type of dough it's made from? If you know for sure, please feel free to enlighten me.
As with all other doughnuts it's really nothing special when cold, but it you can get your hands on a hot one...My pick for where to find a good one is Bob's Donuts on Polk street. They make most of their doughnuts from scratch, rather than mixes, and are routinely rated among the best in the City. Just a few blocks from my house I rarely have one, because they make their doughnuts at night and you have to pass by at just the proper moment to get it right. Just to be on the safe side, you can give them a call to see when the doughnuts are fresh.
Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop
1621 Polk St (between Clay and Sacramento streets)
Open 24 hours a day but go between 10 pm and midnight or don't bother