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Behind-the-scenes look at how a favorite doughnut is made

Posted on Apr 21,2017
Filed Under Food And Wine , Local Tastes,

By Rachel Nania

WASHINGTON - The expansion of a favorite Outer Banks outpost into the D.C. area is saving a lot of locals from a long drive to the beach — and what can seem like an even longer wait in line — for fresh-off-the-fryer, made-to-order doughnuts.

Duck Donuts got its start in 2007 in Duck, North Carolina, and its popularity quickly spread — so much so that the owners decided to franchise the business. Its growth has been Washington’s gain ever since the doughnut shop first came to the area in 2015.

Now, there are two Duck Donut locations in Montgomery County, Maryland, and six in Northern Virginia, the latest of which opened about two weeks ago in Alexandria’s Bradlee Shopping Center.

So what’s with all the hype over these doughnuts? Never ones to turn down “investigative research” in the subject of fried dough, WTOP’s Rachel Nania and Ginger Whitaker paid a visit to the new Alexandria shop to learn more about how these doughnuts are made and why Washingtonians are melting over the breakfast treat.  

What sets Duck Donuts apart from other doughnut shops? The short answer: The customer is in charge of the menu.

Duck Donuts serves vanilla cake-based doughnuts that are fried on the spot and topped with a variety of glazes, icings and candies. Visitors can customize their doughnuts with a choice of 12 different “coatings,” six different “toppings” and four different “drizzles.”

Customers simply check off their preferences on an order form and wait while their masterpieces are created. (From frying to topping, this can take anywhere from five to 15 minutes, depending on how busy the store is.)

Duck Donuts director of operations Rue Rusike says she’s filled plenty of orders that left her scratching her head (one might assume a maple-coated, coconut-topped and raspberry-drizzled doughnut doesn’t leave the taste buds begging for more), but it’s always worked out.

“That’s the fun part; that’s my favorite part,” she said, about playing with all of the different flavor combinations. “Your imagination can run wild.”

Those who prefer a professionally crafted doughnut can choose from the store’s suggested combinations of lemon and coconut, cinnamon and sugar, chocolate with peanuts and salted caramel drizzle, and the wildly popular maple-bacon doughnut.

Travis Gafford, regional manager for Duck Donuts, says the Alexandria store, alone, makes upward of 1,000 maple-bacon doughnuts each day.

“It’s a cheaper alternative to brunch in D.C.,” he said about the salty-sweet meal.

If you’re planning a trip to Duck Donuts, be prepared to wait in line. Weekend mornings especially attract droves of hungry families.

“There are a lot of people who used to go to the Outer Banks, and once they heard that we were coming out here, they came out and showed us love,” Rusike said.

Gafford added, “It’s fresh and they build it to customize your own doughnut. … It’s not really something that’s offered everywhere.”

Source Wtop

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