11 things I learned in New England

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  1. There are not enough Dunkin' Donuts in New England. Wait, I mistyped that. There are more Dunkin' Donuts than people in New England.
  2. Almost every single New Englander I met was outgoing, friendly, confident, and chatty. Even the surly ones were hugely entertaining. e.g. When I enquired as to how a supermarket worker's day was going, she replied "It's Saturday, I'm stuck inside, it's busy as pretty lousy. But the Sox clinched last night so I can't complain. That'll be 23 bucks, hun."
  3. A lot of people still smoke there. California and London have skewed my sense of "normal" on this one.
  4. It's one of the most beautiful parts of America I've ever seen. Water everywhere, tree-lined boulevards, quaint towns, pristine beaches.
  5. Hot sauce is quite hard to come by. My brother's explanation is that while west coast food has heavy latin american influence, east coast food is mainly influenced by European cuisine and therefore not as hot-sauceable. (It is so a word, shut up.)
  6. You haven't had clam chowder until you've had it in New England.
  7. Boston Logan International takes the crown for the worst airport in the developed world. Try parking there, I dare you.
  8. Tom Brady is 16ft tall and once threw over 400 touchdown passes in a single season.
  9. Clam bakes are delicious, entertaining, and scaleable. Everything good food should be.
  10. I could listen to a Boston accent forever.
  11. "Wicked pisser" means really great. And a "shit buddy" is a great friend. Not a shit friend. Counter-intuitive, I know.

In praise of the humble donut

My favourite magazine in the world is Saveur. I like to refer to it as the National Geographic of food. A recent issue was dedicated entirely to a food that doesn't always get the love it deserves. The Donut.

The genus of donuts is broad and extremely varied, with each species attracting fiercely loyal advocates, and God help you if you question their donut style of choice. What most people think of when they think "donut" is the Krispy Kreme style, yeast risen, fluffy donut which is often found on this side of the pond, occasionally filled with jelly or jam. I never been a huge fan of these but I know people all over the world go absolutely nuts for Krispy Kreme, and it can be an irresistible allure first thing in the morning.

But Saveur reserves special prayers for my favorite type of donut, the donut I was brought up, the doughnut I will knock over an old lady to get to...

Then there are cake donuts, the sturdiest of the bunch; prime examples are dense chocolate donuts or substantial old-fashioneds. Made with a chemical leavener, such as baking powder, the dough doesn't need time to rise and can be fried immediately. These are the dunkers of the donut world, the ones with heft, a satisfying crust, and a moist interior. Unlike yeast donuts, they're still pretty good on day two…assuming you have the willpower to keep them around.

In California you can't walk a city block without stumbling across an independent donut shop, usually still resplendent it's 1960s decor and generally populated by slow talking retirees. Row upon row of every conceivable type of donuts, cruller, Bearclaw, and fritter. But the wonderfully dense cake doughnut is what I will always reach for.

via Deciphering the Donut -