It’s so hard not being tempted by the Japanese advertising machine. When this monster from a distant shore shifts up its gears, there is no mercy for your soul – or belly. Paired up with a genuine American product like the donut, a huge chunk of Japanese consumers seem to have caved in and lined up for the newest hit on the American import scene: Krispy Kreme has landed in Tokyo.
Growing up in a quiet village in rural Denmark I have no inherited image or impression of what this brand is. Clearly oblivious of its white trash choice snack trademark in its homeland, I am instantly attracted to the retro 50’s vibes and the fliers advertising crispy, fluffy and colorful donut selections that only Homer Simpson would dream up in a wet moment in his office chair. This is Donut Heaven and everyone in the line outside (waiting times ranging from 30-60 minutes) seem to agree.
I remember the building being a furniture store some 4 years ago, but now it has morphed into a glass covered, elf/Japanese driven (who cares, they both like hard work and fluffy toys) full automatic donut factory with full see through windows allowing one to peek into the rolling donuts, glazing carousels and energetic sugary vibe among the packing assistants you usually get when the Japanese start up their T-1000 Service Model Behavior.
The line is moving in a steady flow, you can sense the excited atmosphere in the crowd as if people were queuing for a rollercoaster ride and the waiting time is spent looking through the menu card and consuming a sugar glazed donut which is handed out by a girl by the door (so, it’s really true – the first one IS for free...).
Finally I am allowed into the cream smelling dough den. Weirdly enough my initial hunger for the hole poked sweets has quickly swollen. The free donut was a whole meal – I am full and slightly pukey - but now, even though I lost my spark, I feel the duty to complete my project since I have spent so much time waiting.
The shiny counter is filled up with matching donuts in a rainbow of colors, shapes, tastes and structures. They too shine of the grease they were just dipped in and sparkle from the sugary dust that covers them. It’s all very pretty and I suddenly think of Disney movies, Christmas candyshops and a shimmery, fluffy dreamland inhabited by slick 50’s girls sporting a box of colorful donuts down Pleasantville main street.
I’m hit in the heart and I go for the Full Assorted Dozen Box with 12 different donuts, 2 fliers and a matching plastic bag that was designed to embrace the shape of the big box and hold it vertical. I feel trendy walking out of the shop, screw Marc Jacobs - I have a dozen donuts and I’m prepared to use them against my body.
At home I unwrap the box. They’re still colorful, but at closer sight they also come off as greasy, oil-stained and heavy from artificial bi-product donut dough. The magic has kinda gone and the box looks silly.
Oh what promises of heaven that lie ahead in this fancy party-in-the-mouth-costume.
I eat one and I don’t feel good...Before going out to shop for real food I change my underpants and leave the box out for my friends.
*Anders is based in Copenhagen where he draws kids books and refuses to cook unless he has guests.