Heaven Can Wait, I’ll Take Entenmann’s: Confessions of Forbidden Food

8 Jan

IlovechocolatecoveredEntenmann’sdonuts…. There, I finally said it. It is a secret I have held for perhaps 10 years, as it has been at least that long since I held one in hand. I walk by them in the Harris Teeter with my head down. I spy them out of the corner of my eye, piled high on tables with coffee and crumb cakes (meh), poundcake (bleh), and chocolate chip cookies (hmmm) as I make my way to the dairy section to buy guilt-free cottage cheese with fruit or soy milk. But every time I take that stroll of shame, I end up fantasizing. Fantasizing about me face down in  a box of chocolate donuts, yellow cake crumbs flying out of both corners of my mouth, my face smudged (or fudged) dark with the evidence. Think Paul Giamatti in Sideways but with donuts instead. Why don’t I just give in, you say? Because with Entenmann’s chocolate donuts, there is no such thing as eating one. You’ll eat five before the box lid closes and you throw it away. Really, the Cracklin’ Oat Bran slogan works better here.

What suddenly made me confess my forbidden love for a product Krispy Kreme and other donut aficionados would deem wasted calories? This week, I have been enjoying my new subscription to the food literature journal Alimentum. Upon perusing its website, I came across a very intriguing  posting about “Secret Foods.” For confessing your food sins, you could get an additional issue free.

It sounded like a good bargain to me as I scanned the photographic images of the usual suspects, including chili dogs, McDonald’s fries, and Mac and cheese. There was even a photo of “mini chocolate donuts,” but I couldn’t tell if they were Entenmann’s for sure…If so, maybe I am not alone and there is hope….

So why does it pain me so to admit that when it comes to Entenmann’s I am a mere mortal struggling on the precipice of overindulgence? Perhaps because I have worked hard in recent years to strike a good balance between healthful and happy. I am a pretty good girl. I eat my vegetables (most of the time). I balance my protein and carbs. I abandoned sodas except for the very occasional urge for a diet Dr. Pepper or a Dr. Brown’s cherry soda. And in pastry school, I discovered that the French are really right…small bits of over the top rich and unprocessed foods don’t really result in weight gain. In fact, much to my surprise, and in contrast to my gluttonous college years, I have not gained the freshman 15, but lost a freshman 5. Entenmann’s (baked badness in a box; nothing artisanal or wholesome here)  therefore presents a major threat to my modus operandi.

Just as it is impossible to eat one Entenmann’s donut, I think it is impossible for me to confess just one food sin. So for the sake of full disclosure (which we lawyers love), I am going to give you my other top four forbidden/shameful/secret (no longer) foods. No surprise that except for one of these items, they are all of the sweet variety. Please do feel free to comment with your own transgressions. You’ll make me feel a lot better!

1. Entenmann’s Chocolate frosted donuts

2. Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. Easter time, I love you! I love you almost as much as Valentine’s day! And I am not even Christian. But I will celebrate this splendid-candy-splurge-of-a-time-of-year with its pastel colors and sugary confections. I will buy armfuls of conveyor belt treats from CVS aisles and stock pile them for later in the year. I will look for butter cup yellow packaging (bags and boxes better than individual) because I know what they hold. Oh Hershey’s you have been much maligned in recent years, especially by esteemed German pastry chefs who know much more about chocolate than I can ever consume. But I will always hold you dear for your chocolate Easter eggs. . . more perfect than your peanut butter Reese’s cup because of their more favorable peanut butter filling to chocolate ratio and because they do not contain the hard ridge edges that taste of “chocolate candy” more than “milk chocolate.”  If you make them, I will come.

3. Mrs T’s frozen pierogies. Once upon a time, when I was single and did not deign to cook weekday meals but every so often, Mrs. T’s peirogies were the Alpha and Omega. Or maybe my Green Eggs and Ham. I could eat them for breakfast, I could eat them for lunch, I could eat them for dinner or a snack. I could boil them, fry them, or bake them. I could add sour cream, or tomato sauce, or just eat them nude. When I met my husband and we were dating, he was just south of horrified. Not so much at the pierogies themselves but at the fact that I never rounded out my meal with much of anything else in eating them. He used to chide me with, “There is no food in your food.” Until one day, I learned to let them go. Well not completely…

4. The artist formerly known as Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (now Chew-et Peanut Chews). I admit it. I like “old people’s” candy, as my college roommate used to say. That’s what happens when you grow up with parents a generation older than your friends’. I may not know anyone under the age of 40 who likes Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, but perhaps they will enjoy a renaissance. (I hardly recognized my old friends of formerly dull brown paper packaging and antiquated font in their new sleek and bold-colored plastic coated packaging). The chews are like the Entenmann’s donuts–you gotta eat the whole package or there is no point in opening it. Much less sweet than Reese’s, and more toothsome like a nougat, perhaps the chews were the beginning of my love for dark chocolate.  Don’t even talk to me about the newer milk chocolate version. Blasphemy I say.

5. Chocolate Katydids. All my father had to do when he walked through the door was to shake the red and white striped tin can, and we knew the most special of candies awaited us. I didn’t normally like caramel, but I loved pecans, and something about the combination and the consistency  of these candies (akin to chocolate turtles in appearance, but better tasting) was magic in my child’s eyes. I used to like to stretch the bond of the caramel as I consumed the katydids and watched it turn to ribbons. We were always disappointed when we realized that, too quickly, there were no more katydids hiding underneath the tin’s circular candy pads. Perhaps this is the most nostalgic of my entries because, having inherited his sweet tooth, I could always bond with my father over a plate of something sweet.

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