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11 Wonderfully Unexpected Doughnut Flavors from Across the Country

In recent years, the humble doughnut has become a culinary canvas for all sorts of bold flavor combinations. On National Doughnut Day, we take a look at a few choice selections from around the country.

1. HALVA // UNDERWEST DONUTS

Location: New York City

If you’re visiting Times Square, head west to 12th Avenue, where you’ll find one of the city’s best doughnut shops—inside a car wash, of all places. Underwest, run by a former sous chef, turns out an assortment of thick, rich cake doughnuts, including the Halva, a glazed doughnut topped with the nutty, tahini-based sweetmeat.

2. ROSEMARY OLIVE OIL // FŌNUTS

Location: Los Angeles

Fōnuts is a popular L.A. shop that specializes in baked doughnuts made with all-natural ingredients. And this is its calling card: a delicate, earthy doughnut made with crushed rosemary, olive oil, and a hint of lemon zest. If you can’t make it to southern California, try your hand at the recipe, courtesy of pastry chef Waylynn Lucas.

3. POI GLAZE // KAMEHAMEHA BAKERY

Location: Honolulu

Bite into this specialty from Kamehameha Bakery and behold a soft, gooey purple cake filling. That comes from poi, a Polynesian staple made from the taro plant, that’s baked into the dough. If you’re in town, go early: The bakery opens in the wee hours and sells out quickly.

4. THE CHARLESTON // GLAZED GOURMET

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston, like the city it’s named for, is a southern treat through and through. It’s filled with bourbon cream, covered in a toffee glaze, and topped with crushed pralines.

5. THE DOH-NILLA // PSYCHO DONUTS

Location: San Jose and Campbell, California

Why choose between cookies and doughnuts? The Doh-Nilla, made by the mad scientists at Psycho Donuts, is topped with vanilla frosting and Nilla wafers, and drizzled with chocolate sauce.

6. GOOEY BUTTER // STRANGE DONUTS

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

This is the doughnut version of a St. Louis cake staple, and boy is it a hit at up-and-comer Strange Donuts. Made with cream cheese, vanilla and—you guessed it—butter, the doughnut is super rich and sweet, and appropriately gooey on top.

7. VANILLA PUDDING CURRY NERDS // STREET DONUTS

Location: Seattle

This is just one of many topping combinations visitors to Seattle’s Street Donuts can create. The mobile cart, which appears at locations throughout the city, gives customers a basket of mini doughnuts and lets them go crazy. Other toppings include Nutella, cardamom, chai, bacon, marshmallow fluff, and dulce de leche.

8. THE BOMBSHELL // GLAM DOLL DONUTS

Location: Minneapolis

Glam Doll bakery likes to spice up traditional doughnuts with bold flavors. Exhibit A: The Bombshell, filled with spiced Mexican chocolate, and topped with a vanilla glaze and cayenne pecans. It’s anything but your usual jelly-filled doughnut.

9. PINEAPPLE BASIL // RISE BISCUITS AND DONUTS

Location: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Rise Biscuits and Donuts is a small but fast-growing chain that likes to mix in a few tasty experiments with its classic selections. One of its more colorful varieties, the Pineapple Basil, includes a basil cream filling, pineapple glaze, and pistachio topping.

10. THE FREEBIRD // GOURDOUGH’S

Location: Austin, Texas

Gourdough’s, which serves up doughnuts, doughnut sandwiches, doughnut burgers, and doughnut-based entrees, does not hold back. The Freebird is a testament to that spirit. It’s filled with cheese cake batter and topped with cream cheese, graham cracker crumbles, strawberries, and blackberries.

11. MEMPHIS MAFIA DONUT // VOODOO DONUTS

Location: Portland, Oregon

The lovably odd (and super-popular) Voodoo Donuts has made its name with off-the-wall doughnuts. Embodying the shop’s crude decadence, the Memphis Mafia takes dough made with banana chunks and cinnamon and tops it with peanuts, peanut butter, chocolate frosting, and chocolate chips.

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The World’s First Totoro-Themed Restaurant Is Coming to Thailand
StudioCanal
StudioCanal

Japan’s upcoming Studio Ghibli theme park will not open for another few years, but animation fans in Asia will soon have another destination where they can get their Hayao Miyazaki fix. Thailand will soon be home to a Totoro-themed restaurant, SoraNews24 reports.

May’s Garden House Restaurant in Bangkok is the first officially licensed restaurant inspired by Miyazaki’s classic film My Neighbor Totoro. The restaurant features Miyazaki-themed decor, like a giant Totoro figure that sits in the dining room, as well as menu items inspired by the characters, such as steamed buns shaped like Mini Totoros. The tables are adorned with figurines of Totoro, Mei, Sootballs, the Catbus, and other characters from the movie. While they aren't completed yet, the restaurant plans on adding a children’s playground, an orchid greenhouse, and various other elements before the grand opening.

Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki helped develop the concept for the restaurant, and he personally designed its sign. He also designed two exclusive new Studio Ghibli characters for the restaurant, Colko and Peeko (who you can see above).

While it has been open on a trial basis since mid-April, May’s Garden House is set to officially open at the end of May. Until then, Miyazaki uber-fans will have to content themselves with dining at the Straw Hat Cafe, the more general Studio Ghibli-themed restaurant at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

[h/t SoraNews24]

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McDonald's May Be Getting Rid of Its Plastic Straws
Philippe Huguen, AFP/Getty Images
Philippe Huguen, AFP/Getty Images

First Seattle and then the Queen. Could the Golden Arches be next to join the anti-straw movement? As Fortune reports, McDonald's shareholders will vote at their annual meeting on May 24 on a proposal to phase out drinking straws at the company's 37,000-plus locations in the U.S.

If passed, the fast food behemoth would join the ranks of other governments and businesses around the world that have enacted bans against straws in an effort to reduce plastic waste. Straws are notoriously hard to recycle and typically take hundreds of years to decompose.

McDonald's is currently in the process of removing plastic straws from its roughly 1300 outlets in the UK. However, McDonald's board of directors opposes the move in the U.S., arguing that it would divert money from the company's other eco-friendly initiatives, The Orange County Register reports. This echoes comments from the plastic industry, which says efforts should instead be focused on improving recycling technologies.

"Bans are overly simplistic and may give consumers a false sense of accomplishment without addressing the problem of litter," Scott DeFife of the Plastics Industry Association told the Daily News in New York City, where the city council is mulling a similar citywide ban.

If the city votes in favor of a ban, they'd be following in the footsteps of Seattle, Miami Beach, and Malibu, California, to name a few. In February, Queen Elizabeth II was inspired to ban straws at royal palaces after working with David Attenborough on a conservation film. Prime Minister Theresa May followed suit, announcing in April that the UK would ban plastic straws, cotton swabs, and other single-use plastic items.

It's unclear how many straws are used in the U.S. By one widely reported estimate, Americans use 500 million disposable straws per day—or 1.6 straws per person—but it has been noted that these statistics are based on a survey conducted by an elementary school student. However, plastic straws are the fifth most common type of trash left on beaches, according to data reported by Fortune.

[h/t Fortune]

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