We Buffalonians love our doughnuts.
If you've already claimed your free doughnut in celebration of National Doughnut Day, grab a seat and let's take a look at some doughnut-related stories that have run in The News.
Remember when Paula's Donuts made that BuzzFeed list of must-try doughnuts? Paula's Donuts, which has locations in Clarence and Tonawanda and is planning to open in West Seneca, made BuzzFeed's list of "33 Doughnuts You Have to Try Before You Die."
In coming up with the list, Candace Lowry crowd-sourced favorite doughnuts from the opinionated BuzzFeed Community, and sure enough, Paula's made the cut.
The BuzzFeed user who suggested Paula's wrote this:
" 'Paula’s donuts in buffalo New York. Get out every other donut ever you are trash compared to the heaven that is Paula’s donuts. I once traded my first born just to go to Paula’s and traded my second born just to look at the donuts and then traded my wife to get a donut. Best trades ever. There are lots of other children and wives but only Paula’s is Paula’s.' "
This probably helped:
The Texas Donut at Paula's sells for $4.99 and is about 8 inches across. "Its construction begins with regular yeast-raised doughnut dough, and then things get Texas-sized," wrote News Food Critic Andrew Galarneau in an Out to Eat review in 2010.
Just off the I-190 near the Thruway, another local doughnut shop is building a loyal Buffalo following: Donut Kraze.
Contributing reviewer Emeri Krawcyzk enjoyed her visit to the spot late last year. Faced with a plethora of doughnut choices -- peanut stick? chocolate honey dipped? apple spice? -- Krawczyk opted for what she termed "the hedonist choice": maple bacon.
"Filled with angel cream, it was topped with maple frosting and a generous amount of bacon. Heavenly, worth every calorie and not crazy at all."
You'll find plenty of fans of Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons around Western New York, too. When Tim Hortons opened a location in HarborCenter in October, the line wrapped around the counter, to the back of the store and nearly out the door. “I’m getting the first doughnut I see,” 13-year-old Jackson DiCarlo, who arrived at the grand opening shortly after 5 a.m. with his father and friend, told The News.
Western New Yorkers have fond memories of doughnut shops of their past, too. Consider the number of Freddie's fans who chimed in on Facebook when BN Chronicles wrote about the long-gone chain.
"The name Freddie’s Doughnuts conjures mouthwatering memories for generations of Buffalonians, many of whom will tell you they’ve never tasted a better doughnut than the ones they ate at the corner of Main and Michigan in Buffalo," wrote Steve Cichon.
"I loved them, used to go to Buffalo Main Street for the fresh ones," wrote Mike Pasqualichio, one of hundreds to comment on the story on Facebook. "The jelly was amazing as was the chocolate covered creme. Let's get their recipe, open a store, compete with Paula's and make a million!!!"
More recently, the departure of Krispy Kreme left some of that chain's devotees despondent. Take it from The News' own Bruce Andriatch, who mourned the loss of the doughnut shop in a column:
"Can it really be eight years since I first read that you would be coming into my life? I recall thinking that you would be just another doughnut. In a life filled with cream sticks and powdered jellies and cinnamon rolls, why would I think some southern fried glazed ring would be any different?
"I see now how foolish I was. How could I ever have thought of you as just 'another doughnut?' Others called you a Freddie's wannabe, but they were wrong. You were one of a kind. Some days, when I was really hungry, you were three or four of a kind. Maybe once, half a dozen. Ah, the good old days."
Just what is it about doughnuts?
"Once you are an adult, eating a doughnut is a death-defying act," wrote Galarneau in a column devoted to that very question. "You raise that glazed orb to your face, using two hands if it’s a Paula’s number, knowing that you are being self-indulgent, naughty, and unintimidated by the nagging angel on your shoulder who wants to tell us all, between bites, that we are dying a little bit every day.
"Plus, it’s delicious."
What's your go-to doughnut, and doughnut shop, in Western New York? Tell us in the comments below, and your answers could be used in a gallery on BuffaloNews.com.