Casting a spell with doughnuts
Monday, August 31, 2009 | 11:32 AM ET
By Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca
In the corner of Portland's cramped Voodoo Doughnut sits a glass showcase, stuffed with round cakey doughnuts topped with thick layers of shiny icing and toppings including crisp bacon and sugar cereals.
Buzz about the famed eatery had prompted my friend and me to trek across town, despite warnings from the hotel concierge that the place was both a hole in the wall and situated in what he deemed a sketchy part of town. For a moment I wondered if we should indeed go, thinking that perhaps the sweet treats were overrated delicacies consumed by tourists alone.
But in fact an eclectic crowd of teenagers, tourists, hipsters and professionals lined up outside the cramped shop. Pleased customers rushed away, carrying heavy and deep boxes. I opted for the Eminem (vanilla frosting topped with m&m candies) while my friend chose a fluorescent blue sugary concoction. Happy choices for both of us.
Oregon's Voodoo Doughnut opened in 2003. (Lynn Cullen)
The mighty little doughnut shop not only cranks out the sweet treats 24 hours a day, it also offers legal wedding services and, depending on the package, personalized doughnut centerpieces.
Fare on the sassy menu includes Dirt (vanilla frosting with Oreo cookies), the Grape Ape (vanilla icing with grape powder), and the Old Dirty Bastard (chocolate frosting with Oreos and peanut butter).
Owner Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson told The Believer in a 2006 interview that at one time the shop offered a doughnut glazed with Nyquil and another iced with Pepto-Bismol and topped with crushed Tums.
“The Nyquil one was kind of a lark, but that’s the one that got the most famous," he said of the doughnuts that were eventually barred by health officials. "With the Pepto doughnut, I honestly thought if you had that shot of tequila you shouldn’t have at 2:00 a.m., and then you got sugar, bread, Pepto, and Tums, you’d either feel better or puke your ass off and then feel better because you got it out of your system. So it was a win-win either way.”
Where have you eaten on your travels this summer? Was it worth the visit?
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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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