Posted by Jason Sheehan on April 5th, 2012
Okay, so yesterday we got the best kind of delivery to Foobooz World Headquarters: A nice box of donuts. But these were no ordinary donuts. Oh, no… These were the first, hot-out-of-the-robot samples of the new limited edition Art In The Age / Federal Donuts collaboration donuts.
Yeah, I know. What they’re doing over at FedNuts is making donuts that mimic the flavor profile (if not the alcohol content) of the three AITA spirits currently available: Rhuby, Snap and Root. These donuts will be available for a limited time only (April 20-29) at Federal Donuts and, as anyone who has spent any time waiting in the donut-and-fried-chicken line at FedNuts will tell you, will probably sell out unbelievably fast.
So we got our sample donuts yesterday, but decided (showing remarkable restraint on our part) to wait to eat them until we could compare each donut with its alcoholic doppleganger. This required the acquisition of three bottles of AITA craft booze (easily accomplished) and a quick-sit-down tasting of each. Here’s how things shook out:
Federal Donuts / Art in the Age Tasting Results
Donut #1: Root Beer Float
This was the best of the three donuts, mostly because it tasted exactly like what it claimed to be. Was it a bit strange to be eating a donut-textured root beer float? Yes, a little. But this only became bothersome after the first few bites–basically the time it took for the awe and wonder of tasting a root beer float-flavored donut to wear off. The magic was in the root beer-glazed cake donut topped with a vanilla ice cream icing, perfectly melding the two flavors together. Where it fell apart was about halfway through said donut, when our rational mind began asking, “Do we really want to be eating a root beer float in donut form?”
The answer, of course, was yes. Just not every day.
Compared to Root: The best thing you can do with Root is making alcoholic root beer floats (adding a little bourbon helps), so this pairing was dead-on.
Donut #2: Gingersnap Cookie
A cake donut, glazed with ginger and sporting a greenish gingersnap cookie crumb? Amusing for one bite. After that, not so much. Sampling this sparked a long debate about the relative merits of simple, non-gourmet donuts and the consensus was that while we appreciated the thought and effort (and specialness) of this experiment, we’d all kind of rather had a plain glazed from Dunkin’ Donuts (or, in my case, Krispy Kreme).
Compared to Snap: Again, an amazing translation of liquor into donut form. All the notes were there (though not so heavy on the molasses sweetness), but the end result just didn’t particularly thrill any of us.
Donut #3: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Did not taste at all like strawberry rhubarb pie. What it tasted almost EXACTLY like was eating a fistful of Crunch Berries from a box of Cap’n Crunch cereal. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, just…weird. This was another cake donut, glazed with rhubarb (not enough of it, in my opinion, and too sweetly concocted), topped with a pie crust crumble and doodled with strawberry icing.
Compared to Rhuby: This translation sacrificed Rhuby’s vegetable weirdness for simple, punch-in-the-mouth sweetness. A smart move when you’re making a donut, but not a perfect imitation of the liquor in question. That said, a carrot-and-beet donut with cardamom and rhubarb would’ve probably just been totally gross.
Federal Donuts [Official website]
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction [Official website]
- Federal Donuts Is Open
- Rhuby To Hit Shelves This Week
- The Federal Donuts Robot
- A Brilliant Simplicity
- Federal Donuts Wiped Out in Avalanche of Demand
- First Bite: The Chicken at Federal Donuts on Sansom Street
- New Donut Flavors at Center City Federal Donuts
- Federal Donuts on Sansom Street Sets Opening Date
- Federal Donuts Adding Fried Chicken Dinner on Weekends