Friday, June 2, was National Doughnut Day in the States, the day we celebrate fried sweet dough, torus-shaped and otherwise. Nabisco celebrated this joyous holiday by reminding us that there’s nothing quite like a warm jelly doughnut, especially not a creme-filled sandwich cookie.
As has been our annual tradition since 2017, Snacktaku combines both National Doughnut Day and Father’s Day into one joyous occasion, inviting the next generation of Snackologists to participate in the eating of the snack. Archer, one of two six-year-old boys that look vaguely similar, is at the stage in his Snackology studies where he’ll try anything once—really sour candy, chips made from cricket flour, that especially delicious-looking blue Lego piece on the floor of my office I keep meaning to pick up. He’s like the canary in my culinary coal mine.
And so, when it came to Jelly Donut Oreo cookies, he was up to the challenge.
The challenge, in this situation, was to forget everything you know about jelly doughnuts and embrace Oreo’s version of the national treasure. Note the use of the shortened “Donut.” That’s awfully familiar, Nabisco.
What we have here are vanilla Oreo wafers filled with a combination of white creme and purple stuff. The purple stuff is a grape-flavored paste meant to simulate the center of a jelly doughnut. It does not do a very good job.
First off, where I come from the jelly doughnut is by default filled with strawberry jelly. It’s a regional thing, or so I hear, with other areas of the country leaning towards raspberry, blueberry or apple. Or even grape, I suppose, but it’s not the fruit I think of when someone says, “Hey, let’s buy some jelly doughnuts, replace the insides with pickle relish and leave near the water cooler.”
Second, the jelly doughnut is an experience. The sugar-covered outside, the warm, soft fried dough giving way to a bright burst of jellied fruit flavor—that’s what a jelly doughnut is. It’s not a flavor you can replicate in small circular disk. It’s a journey, and Jelly Donut Oreos just don’t take me there.
Archer loves them, but he doesn’t know any better. Ah, to be a young Snackologist again.
Happy Late National Doughnut Father’s Day, everybody.