Aug 12, 2016

Dunkin' Donuts' Used to Have a Namesake Donut with a Handle

Dunkin' Donuts Handle Donut.
Dunkin' Donuts used to actually offer a donut called "The Dunkin' Donut" and it came with a handle that you could hold onto to dunk the donut in your coffee (per the chain's name).

Now dunking a donut in coffee doesn't quite hold the popularity that it used to (and is more difficult these days due to the tall and narrow to-go cups that coffee tends to be served in now), but back in the day, you'd actually sit down with a wide-rimmed cup of coffee that was a perfect fit to ease your donut in.

The chain didn't initially offer the donut when it first started. So how did the donut with a handle come to be?

According to an excerpt from Dunkin’ Donuts’ founder William Rosenberg’s book, Time to Make the Donuts:

“Johnny was a fantastic donut man. One day we were talking in my office and I said, "You know, Johnny, the name of our company is Dunkin' Donuts. You know how you cut out the round donuts? Can't you make a cutter with a handle on it, so you can dunk the donut and we'll call it the Dunkin' donut? He said, "Oh no, no, no Bill. You can't do that." I persisted, of course. I thought it seemed like a pretty simple thing to do. He started giving me all kinds of stories -- how the shortening wouldn't circulate properly if the donut wasn't round. But I wasn't convinced. I told him to go to the man who made the cutters and tell him to make a round cutter with a handle on one end of it. See what happens. "Try it out," I said. That's what he did and wouldn't you know it, now we had a donut with a handle!”

The Johnny referenced here is Johnny Spartos, who was one of the men running the original Dunkin' Donuts location in Quincy, MA for William Rosenberg.

So what happened to The Dunkin' Donut? Well, it was discontinued back in 2003 because it had to be cut by hand. It was replaced by a handle-less old-fashioned donut that was cut by machine. By this time, it was actually easier to dunk the handle than the donut into your coffee, so that might have played into it as well. I guess you could say it was an old-fashioned donut for an old-fashioned era.

While you can't get the original Dunkin' Donut anymore, if you're willing to travel, you can still get a Dunkin' Donut with a similar handle (pictured above) over in Singapore (in several varieties to boot). It's a bit different from the original though, which by accounts, was an old-fashioned donut while the Singapore version is a yeast donut.

Image via Dunkin' Donuts Singapore.

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