Ode to The Donut Man

I originally wrote this post back on September 6, 2008 after Ty and I tasted the amazingness that is the Peach Donut from The Donut Man in Glendora, CA. Strawberries are starting to come into season here in California, which means the return of the Strawberry Donut. My wife, being awesome, brought home a donut for each of us to enjoy. Thus I thought it only fitting to republish my Ode to The Donut Man.

Bon appetit!

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I have seen and tasted the Promised Land of Donuts, and it is very good. The Promised Land of which I speak of is the Donut Man in Glendora on Route 66, a thirty minute drive from my house in Fullerton.

You are probably wondering, “What makes these donuts any different than the donut shop five minutes from my house? And is any donut really worth a thirty minute drive? After all, aren’t all donuts the same?” Those are good questions and they deserve an answer, especially since up until today, September 6, 2008, I had not had a donut in over a year.

The Donut Man is a little hole in the wall place where you simply walk up to the window and order your donuts to go. I had heard distant rumors of these donuts, especially the donuts that are filled with a pile of either fresh strawberries or fresh peaches. But Ty and I were not without our doubts. Sure people speak of these donuts as the greatest in the world, but how good could a donut really be?

My friend, Ty, and I arrived and I began surveying the racks of donuts, but I could not find the donuts for which we had made our pilgrimage for, and I began to think that the drive was all for naught. But at that very moment, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a heavenly glow of freshly baked and glazed donuts stuffed with beautifully ripe, golden peaches.

Ty and I quickly each got one, along with a few others to eat as we watch college football. But the peach filled donuts were not going to wait. They had to be eaten immediately. Our donuts were packaged up in a box. We found a little grassy knoll that was perfect for eating a donut.

When we opened the box, I think a heard a faint sound of an angelic choir. We examined the donut realizing that these donuts required full commitment on one’s part. The only way in which these donuts could be eaten were firmly grasped with two hands, which would obviously lead to hands covered in sugar.

I picked up my donut to examine the heavenly bliss that awaited me. First the peach slices were in all different sizes and shapes, which simply confirmed that these were peaches that had been hand-peeled and hand-sliced just for the donut. Secondly, the peaches looked perfectly ripe—neither too soft in which case they would simply disintegrate with the sugar nor too firm in which case the peach would not be sweet enough. Nor were the peaches covered with a gelatinous glaze in which all you would taste was the glaze. Rather they looked as though they were simply lightly sprinkled with some sugar. And finally the smell…oh, the smell…the smell of fresh peaches that signal the end of the summer and a fresh donut that smells of a lazy Saturday morning.

The time had come to take the first bite, and it was then that all doubts were vanquished from my mind. Ty and I simply looked at each other and started laughing and almost crying…I kid you not. No words needed to be said between the two of us, for we both knew that this experience transcended words. We both began to wonder if this donut was what Paul saw and experienced when he was caught up to the third heaven and heard and saw things that were inexpressible in words. This was no ordinary donut that we were eating.

The only way to possibly describe the marriage of flavors that danced through my mouth would be this: imagine taking a bite of a perfect peach and then taking a bite of a fresh donut. Neither of us had ever tasted something so simple yet so amazingly profound. I began thinking that fresh peaches and fresh donuts were made for one another, and yet for 27 years, I had never been introduced to these flavors. The slightly tang of the peaches balanced the sweetness of the donut, so that there was no fear of this donut causing a diabetic coma.

We savored every bite of the heavenly donut, and neither of us minded that our hands were slowly being covered in the glaze of the donut, and knowing that there was no way until we got home to get it off. Any slight discomfort from being sticky was well worth it.

The ride home we both reminisced about the experience we had just shared together, and really could not wait to introduce more people to The Donut Man. Sadly, peach season is coming to an end, so there are only a few more weeks to enjoy these donuts.

One more thing: during strawberry season, The Donut Man does the same thing with strawberries as he does with peaches. I shall be counting down the days until those arrive back on the racks of the Donut Man.

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