Fr Carlos Luis SAC
The actual 'doughnut' arrived in Manhattan under the unappealing Dutch moniker of 'oily cakes (olykoeks)'. Elizabeth Gregory created a sinister deep-fried dough in the middle of the 19th century by expertly utilising her son's spice haul of nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind.
On lengthy travels, she made it possible for her son Hanson and his crew to pack a pastry that could fend off scurvy and colds. Mrs Gregory named them 'doughnuts' in a literal sense by placing hazelnuts or walnuts in the centre, where the dough would not cook through.
The doughnut was then popularized during World War I with the doughboys delivering doughnuts to soldiers. And history tells us that the doughnut reached places.
In Goa, Ashish Nakate and his mother are making the doughnut famous. Ashish Nakate, who is an aspiring entrepreneur from Goa, runs The Donut Affair in Borda, Margao, to ensure Goan families do not miss the best doughnuts ever.
When asked why he decided to create a career out of baking and selling just doughnuts, Ashish replied, "First of all, Goa has always missed exceptional doughnuts.
Secondly, I wanted to establish a very special brand of doughnuts, so keeping just one product was the only option. Adding other items would dilute the brand value we offer to our loyal clients."
The idea for The Donut Affair cropped up when one day Ashish was trying and tasting the doughnuts prepared by his friend. That's when the doughnut idea crossed his mind. Who would want to miss a good doughnut, he thought.
Today, The Donut Affair offers its customers a variety of mouth-watering doughnuts. The yummy 'Nutella Tease' is definitely a teaser.
The 'Lemon Curd' with cream and caramel, 'Double Chocolate' and 'The Twin,' are sure to melt in your mouth.
Then there are perfectly and specially customised doughnuts for Valentine's Day, Anime doughnuts for Anime lovers, Cute Kpop themed doughnut boxes, emoticon-themed doughnuts, doughnuts for the BTS army, superhero-themed doughnuts, and a lot more irresistible trending doughnuts to try.
The Donut Affair tries new flavours for sure and Ashish excitedly states the reason behind it, "We want to make sure that every doughnut purchased by the customers is the greatest, and providing them with the best experience is the primary goal."
"It takes us three hours to manufacture one batch of doughnuts and extreme care is taken while preparing them," he adds.
The Donut Affair has famously curated doughnuts for weddings, birthday celebrations, and five-star hotels.
The Donut Affair began on October 1, 2020, and continues to date to work out its magic in many young hearts. But every success story has had its hidden time of struggle.
Ashish says, "Developing a brand and promoting it, was and is difficult. The majority of Goans are unaware of the sweet snack being made by us." Nevertheless, Ashish promises that The Donut Affair will offer more doughnut categories in the days to come.
Adolph Levitt, a czarist Russian exile who lived in New York City in 1920, created the first doughnut machine. Doughnuts spread like wildfire once Levitt's doughnut machine became a tremendous hit.
But The Donut Affair happens to be the only doughnut shop that bakes doughnuts without the use of any machinery.
Now, whether it is National Doughnut Day or not, you get to choose from the variety available at the shop. These doughnuts are the ideal pick-me-up after any meal and go well with a cup of coffee or tea whether they are glazed, sugared, or just sprinkled.
The doughnuts made by The Donut Affair are loved by the young and the old as they are soft and fluffy.
Given that Goa and Goans have their traditional breakfast preferences, doughnuts have still not become a breakfast staple like the way it is for Americans. For us Goans, it is still an impulse item for consumption, and not habitual. Perhaps, Indianisation with desi and Goan flavours of the doughnut will navigate a doughnut to more Goan homes as a breakfast option.
The Donut Affair by Ashish Nakate is trying its best to make the doughnut mainstream with the personalized and relatable experience he provides.
(Carlos Luis is a priest belonging to the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottine) and is currently the mission secretary of the ABVM Province, Bangalore. He comments on literature and films that mirror life.)