Transborder Tug of War

Is Homer Simpson’s favorite snack more Canadian than we thought? Say it ain’t so!

While Canada cannot claim to have invented the deep-fried torus-shaped pastry we call the doughnut, a new book, The Donut: A Canadian History, outlines our north-of-the-border neighbors’ love affair with it.

Alex Beam riffs on the book in the Boston Globe article “Canada’s Holey Icon: Our Eyes Glaze Over,” calling the book’s author on the carpet because although Canada does have a history with the doughnut, can it really claim it as its own? The country does have the highest per-capita doughnut consumption on Earth, but then, writes Beam, Canadians have “an almost-Soviet-style impulse to claim primacy in fields that people don’t really care about.”

Beam also throws a little love to Tim Hortons, Canada’s favorite doughnut franchise (and retells the story of how ordering a pack of 15 Timbits could get you something more than doughnuts once upon a time). But since the Globe is firmly in Dunkin’ country, Beam also exposes the machinations behind the “transborder doughnut war” between Hortons and Dunkin’.

Looks like it’s time for my once-a-year chocolate doughnut …

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