In 2003 one of south-west Sydney’s original food trends burst forth into Australia. Lines would snake around the cut-and-paste All American Diner that is Krispy Kreme and free doughnuts would be awarded to keen and patient punters. Multiple faces pressed against the glass, the excitement of the live glazing carousel was just too much – circles and circles and circles of doughnuts being churned out, like shimmering rounds of hope and wonder, was the closest thing to a modern-day Willy Wonka factory we’d ever have.
Yet 13 years on, like an optimistic food truck lacking any finesse, Krispy Kreme have attempted to fuse two of Sydney’s most popular dishes: burgers and donuts. Claiming to Trick your Taste Buds, the #kirspykremejoy Grilled range includes a Krispy Slider (what is this, 2012?) and Glazed Dog. Take note of the fake ingredients constrained in quotation marks for some real-life Heston Blumenthal alchemy:
This isn’t your normal hotdog. The Krispy Kreme version is a sweet treat you’ll love. A ring doughnut is compressed and iced with caramel glaze icing and topped with a cream ‘sausage’ and ‘mustard’.
Don’t be fooled, this sweet sensation will keep you guessing. A shell doughnut is cut in half, filled with a mini Mudcake doughnut ‘patty’, cream ‘ketchup’, ‘cheese’ and ‘lettuce’. The ‘bun’ is topped with sweet sugar crystals to finish off this sweet treat.
The topography of Mascot’s Krispy Kreme is delightful: shadowed by both a Formulae 1 motel and big planes housed by the adjacent Sydney Airport. The service is so friendly a pang of guilt resonates from my skepticism as I order a box of their Grilled range and a flat white. However the barista’s lack of urgency has forced me beside a mammoth flickering sign, KRISPY KREME ORIGINAL GLAZE HOT NOW, the fast-food equivalent of GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS. My eye begins to twitch scorched by red light and any semblance of innocence I carried for this brand is being swept away in an eternity of milk frothing. I am finally released from the neon prison that is the hot beverage waiting pen.
Now, there is a thing to be said for balance, decadence and indulgence, but these donuts tick none of those boxes. The Glazed Dog is fine for what it is, the caramel donut is nostalgic, it’s symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing, kinda cute. My main gripe lies with the Krispy Slider. Where do I begin? Imitation is the lowest form of flattery. The bloated sensibilities of this bastard are rife and each mouthful is 70% heavily dyed cream. After one enthusiastic bite there are smears of red, green and yellow, the “ketchup”, “lettuce” and “cheese”, all over my hands, face and arms. If glitter is the herpes of the craft world then I’ve just become acquainted with its buttery equivalent. Is there a poltergeist in the room? The experience is pornographic and the sugar granules adorning the slider are crunchy and unnecessary. Buttercream is oozing everywhere. The thing is sticky from all angles, there’s residue everywhere, it’s clingy, it’s repulsive – I bet this slider takes too many selfies with its spouse at other people’s weddings and has an inflated sense of strong personal brand.
Against the backdrop of balletic soaring planes I hurl a Glazed Dog to the sky in a final flourish – “be free! Reach your potential! Glass ceilings answer to nobody but yourself! I believe in you!!”, I shout with more fake encouragement than a clean-eating inspired social channel, my voice bleating with the calligraphic strokes of watercolored re-blogged sentiments scheduled for peak times of user engagement. It hits the road, cracked and bruised, much like anybody who naively submerges themselves in the feeds of manufactured wellness warriors and pseudo-science expecting wholesome changes in their life overnight. High hopes for any fad issue is destined to plummet back down to earth in a huge mess – just look at Belle Gibson – empty words will never defy gravity and the pedestal will inevitably topple. Infinite encouragement on social media is about as shallow and fake as this Krispy Slider, literally.
As I try to leave this place a large truck screeches before me in the parking lot and I fall to my knees. “EAT DOUGHNUTS”. I discover more red stains on my hands and my clothes. Mocked by mock cream I’m flailing, a sensory overload of a dismal dystopian buttercream filled future. Lukewarm coffee is pooling into a nearby drain beside me. This red cream still won’t come off, it’s smeared everywhere and is staining everything. Like blood on my hands I close my eyes and it’s all I see. By disrespecting both my body and profession I’ve asked for this, but do I deserve it? I’ve just discovered more on my sleeve. The relentless buttercream just won’t let me forget what I’ve done as I stand alone amongst bushes in the middle of the night, wearing red on my skin. Redrum. Redrum. Redrum.