Monday, February 8, 2010
Tim Horton's Canadian Maple Donut
Granted, I can't say I personally know any Canadians (in real life, at least -- online friendship is another matter), but as best I can tell, they are a sensible lot. Hardworking, yet quiet, passionate and funny. (Of course, these views are largely based on Nia Vadalos movies, Douglas Coupland books and Michael Buble CD's.) But there seems to be one subject that brings out the roaring fanboy in just about all of them...and that would be why Tim Horton's is the best doughnut shop in the universe. Not merely the country, the continent, or even the world, but THE UNIVERSE (always stated in Kanye-approved CAPS LOCK).
Now, being an East Coast girl at heart with a West Coast address, I have always wondered how they stacked up to Dunkin Donuts (which, despite torturing me with constant TV ads, does not in fact have a Southern California location). Could "Timmy's," as it is popularly known, actually be good enough to make a run across the northern border for?
Over the years Tim Horton's has started to open U.S. locations. In fact, the U.S. version of their official website says they have been in western New York State for 25 years. But I was never anywhere close to one until today. There is now a Timmy's in a very small food court located in the lower level of New York City's Penn Station. People, I braved not only the rather "interesting" crowds that just seem to hover around the interior of Penn around 10:30 at night...but the equally frightening bunch on the subway at an even later hour, just for the donuts. So you see, people, I am willing to put my own safety in harm's way for hard-hitting reviews like this one.
I opted for the Canadian Maple to start with because my favorite Dunkin Donut is the maple glazed. And hey, if a Canadian company can't make a stellar Canadian Maple glaze...then something is just wrong with the sun and everything under it.
The donut itself is a yeast-style fried donut that contains a creme filling and is topped with a layer of maple frosting.
The donut is very light and fluffy. Not as airy as a Krispy Kreme, but not as heavy and dense as the average supermarket donut. It's a little sweet, yet it almost reminded me of really good french bread. It's toothy but still light.
The creme filling was the texture of pudding. This was the low note of the donut for me. It had a very artificial vanilla taste, and as good as the texture was, it reminded me pretty much exactly of envelope paste.
Finally the Canadian Maple glaze: This was good. This was seriously good. This was can-someone-please-oil-up-Michael-Buble-and-have-him-sent-to-my-bed-covered-in-it good. The glaze is just thick enough that it sets itself apart from the rest of the layers. The maple actually has a thick syrupy taste -- it tastes like what you would expect maple to taste like, and not what we have come to accept from cheap pancake syrup.
I know Timmy's does a version that is simply glazed rather than filled with creme. And I think that is the one I would have preferred, because the creme did nothing for me. (They did carry it at the Penn Station location, but it was late at night and they were sold out.)
Honestly, the donut itself was good, but not outrageously so. It's not that I didn't like the donut; I just don't get what all the fuss is aboot (oh, I am so witty). The glaze, however...well, that might just be worth the trek for.
Tim Horton's (Penn Station, New York City)
260 per donut