While most people this long weekend went camping, set off bottle rockets, or found other ways to celebrate Vicky’s 188th day of birfing, my brother (Jeffrey James, Professional Engineer and baked goods aficionado), father (Johannes, semi-retired banker and general ne’er-do-well), sister-in-law (Alicia, Professional Engineer and sagacious sprinkle scrutinizer) and I (Julie Michelle, Technical Analyst and usually hungry) decided to test the merits and flaws of four different ‘breeds’ of sprinkle donut, AKA the infamous Hawaiian.
We approached our task with all the scientific objectivity we could muster and with two common goals in mind – to discover which of the entries is the epitome of all that is good and true in sprinkle donutdom, and of course, to eat donuts until we felt sick. I can say, with absolute authority, that we have accomplished both.
Firstly – the contestants:
We decided to go classic for this.
1) Tim Horton’s – Founded in Hamilton in 1964, Timmie’s is Canada’s largest serving food chain (take that, Ronald).‡
2) Coffee Time – Founded in 1982, Coffee Time has traditionally targeted a lower income bracket and, in February 2007, was found to receive an astonishing 78 infractions for every 100 health inspections.
3) Country Style – In business for over 40 years, Country Style is known for the quality of its coffee.
4) Baker’s Dozen – Founded in 1978, Baker’s Dozen doesn’t have its own website. I mean honestly – *I* have my own website.
Secondly – the criteria:
There are a total of 5 criteria each judged out of 5, with 5 being the best. With 4 judges each contributing 25 marks to each donut, we have an overall Sprinkle-Score out of 100. Convenient!
1) Overall appearance
2) Overall taste
3) Sprinkle Adherence (if I turn it upside down or take a bite, am I going to lose those little guys?)
5) Sprinkle Density (how many sprinkles have they squeezed on?)
We decided, in the event of a tie, to also rate the wares on cost and sheer size. The rankings are as follows for this criteria…
Baker’s Dozen; Coffee Time; Country Style; Tim Horton’s.
Baker’s Dozen (70 ¢); Coffee Time (80 ¢); Tim Horton’s (85 ¢); Country Style (90 ¢)
Some notes while testings:
Being the discerning judges we are, we couldn’t help but discuss how we felt about the samples as we tested them. My diligence in recording these ceased after I started to feel a bit sick (by sample #2, I believe), so the comments are few and generally negative.
1) Tim’s – We noted a chemical taste and found the sprinkles to be crunchy. As Alicia put it, the product’s “sprinkle density is to its own detriment.”
2) Coffee Time – The soft sprinklage was unnerving.
3) Baker’s Dozen – A bit doughy – bordering on not cooked. Two of our judges noted a distinct pasty/yeastiness to this one.
4) Country Style – Crunchy, yet somehow soft, sprinkles lead us to scratch our heads.
Firstly, let’s look at the winners in each category:
1) Overall Appearance: Coffee Time – 17/20 – Big sprinkles, good colour, nice size.
2) Overall Taste: Country Style – 16/20 – All around nice. Sprinkle texture different, yet upon reflection, pleasing.
3) Sprinkle Adherence: Tim Horton’s – 19.5/20 – The spherical sprinkle – like a negative ion to the positive ion of the icing.
4) Freshness: Country Style – 18/20 – Well cooked, mon ami; a most recent creation.
5) Sprinkle Density: Tim Horton’s – 17.5/20 – you can fit more when they’re round.
And the final score:
The big loser was definitely Coffee Time. Considering it’s track record with health violations and hiring rodents as deep-fry assistants, this is no big surprise.
We had a tie, however, for the winning spot. Both Country Style and Baker’s Dozen received a 78.5 out of a possible 100. In the end, due to size and cost, Baker’s Dozen officially took the title.
Personally, I’m not pleased. I enjoyed Country Style more and it had the best score in two of the categories. Baker’s Dozen didn’t even take any of the sub-divisions! How veracious can this result be? Baker’s Dozen won by not absolutely sucking. It didn’t have the overall best appearance – but it certainly didn’t have the worst (which went to Tim’s for its anaemic offering). In terms of sprinkle adherence, density and freshness it ranked second, thereby allowing it to stay in the running – an underdog, if you will.
In conclusion – if you want the best sprinkle donut, cost and capaciousness aside, I’d recommend Country Style. You want the best donut when you are famished and a bit short on change – go for the Dozen.
‡ Thank you to Wikipedia.com for all info in this regard