Ich bin ein Berliner

Brandenburg Gate

On June 26th 1963 President John F Kennedy gave a famous speech in West Berlin in which he declared “Ich bin ein Berliner”. It is one of the best-known speeches of the Cold War. Of course there is some view that he was referencing a doughnut, well let’s go to Wikipedia and see what that says about this.

There is a widespread misconception that Kennedy accidentally said a malapropism that he was a Berliner, a German doughnut specialty. This is an urban legend which emerged several decades after the speech, and it is not true that residents of Berlin in 1963 would have mainly understood the word “Berliner” to refer to a jelly doughnut or that the audience laughed at Kennedy’s use of this expression.

Despite that on my recent trip to Berlin I did remember that speech and I did have a few doughnuts.

Close to my hotel there was a doughnut shop close to my hotel and looking through the window these did look like really nice doughnuts. However at €4.50 each they were a little expensive for me. In the supermarket next door they had a selection of doughnuts roughly €1 each, much more in my price bracket for a snack and better value for money. Not that I could actually compare as I never bought one of the €4.50 doughnuts.

I did enjoy my doughnuts, usually with a cup of coffee.

Free Glazed Doughnut

So there I was in Cabot Circus in Bristol in the early evening, anticipating a visit to the cinema, but doing some shopping before the film.

I noticed that people were going into Krispy Kreme being given a glazed doughnut from the conveyer belt and walking out. So I went in and I got a free doughnut from Krispy Kreme. They appeared to be giving away their excess stock.

In the past I haven’t thought highly of the Krispy Kreme doughnuts, they’re okay, but nothing special. However who am I to say no to a free doughnut.

Actually this one was still warm and very fresh. It was rather nice, quite enjoyed it.

Time for timbits

I popped out to the new Tim Hortons to buy some Timbits for lunch. It recently opened and they had taken over the old Pizza Hut. They also added a drive through. I didn’t drive through and went inside. Having visited the Pizza Hut, it was interesting to see what they had done inside. They had kept much of the interior structure, but obviously done some decorating. There was a new serving area. I did actually start to queue, but in the end I went to one of their ordering screens and placed my order for a small box of timbits. These are small doughnuts in various flavours.

I then had to wait a while before I could pick up my order, which I took home.

There was a choice of timbits in the box, I had a chocolate one and a cinnamon one.

The timbits were okay, but I wouldn’t say they were outstanding. 

Doughnut Bargain

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Jam Doughnuts were on special at a Sainsbury Local.

Doughnut Bargain

They were 33p each or two for £1.20…

Doughnut Bargain


Red Jam Doughnuts

There is something about the traditional jam doughnuts, the ones with red jam in the middle and dusted with real granulated sugar. With the increased availability of American style donuts, such as Krispy Kreme, in many different places and quite a fair few pale imitations, it’s nice to know that the traditional jam doughnut is still available. I don’t always want my doughnuts to use icing sugar instead of normal sugar, I don’t always want icing or toppings. That’s not to say donuts (as opposed to doughnuts) have their place, but we shouldn’t forget the delight of the simple jam doughnut. There are also differences between the yeast raised versions, cake versions and batter versions. In my mind I much prefer the doughnuts made with a yeast based dough.

I remember as a young boy being entranced by a bakers shop in town that had windows into the bakery part of the shop, so you could see where and how they made the doughnuts. You could see where the doughnuts were cooked, the trays of sugar where the virgin doughnuts were coated and finally the jam injection contraption that filled them with sweet sugary red jam. They also had other flavours, apricot and blackcurrant, but for me it was always the ones with the red jam. I rarely bought jam doughnuts with my pocket money, but when I could I really enjoyed eating them.

I wonder about that red jam, in theory it should be raspberry jam, but anyone who has read the ingredients list of Jammie Dodgers will realise that mass catering these days seem to use a raspberry flavoured plum jam rather than a real raspberry jam, so hence the red jam moniker.

So are you a secret doughnut eater? Do you prefer the Americanized (sic) donuts? What about varieties from Germany or Holland?

Anyone for a doughnut?

Despite my reservations about Krispy Kreme Doughnuts I recently bought a box of them for my team at work (as a reward).

Slightly concerned about the Christmas specials, as it is really nowhere near Christmas. I really should have picked my own selection for the box, but as I was in a bit of a hurry I got a full box with a selection already in, which included the tree and snowman.

Personally the one I had was a little too sweet and sugary for me, but the rest seemed to go down well.

Ich bin ein Berliner

Ich bin ein Berliner

The infamous quote from John F Kennedy was as any German will tell you translates as “I am a doughnut”.

So it was with this reminiscence in mind that I bought a Berliner doughnut from Waitrose that had been reduced.

It was the first Berliner I had ever had. Never had the chance to get to Germany for many years, and though through JFK I was aware of the Berliner it’s not something I had seen.

So what did I think?

Es ist ein schaler Berliner.

Yes it was stale.

So it was reduced and it was reduced because it had been out all day (maybe a couple of days) and as a result it was stale. Well I hope it was stale in some ways, as if that was how it was suppose to taste then I am disappointed.

So I didn’t finish it.

I will need to get to Germany sometime for a doughnut…

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

So there I was at Paddington waiting for my train when I thought I would get a coffee, well I’m not that much of a fan of the coffee on the train and decided that I quite fancied a doughnut too.

I was slightly sceptical of Krispy Kreme though I did quite like the look of the doughnuts and so falling to temptation bought a small americano and two doughnuts, a simple glazed ring and a lemon meringue filled doughnut.

Now they were slightly too sweet for me, but they were fresh and tasted quite nice.

The simple glazed ring doughtnut had too much glaze as there was a fair bit of sticky glaze on the underneath.

The lemon meringue filled doughnut came filled with a lemon custard and was topped with a thin meringue. This was better than the glazed doughnut and was, well let’s say it was an interesting experience.

Would I get them again?

Probably not unless I was really fancying something really sweet!

What about the coffee? Well the coffee wasn’t that bad, certainly better than the coffee you get on the train.