Chow Bella

Gluten-Free Dunkin Donuts Coming to Arizona Soon; For Now, There's Nami

My high school singing group, The Sounds of Young Hawaii, spent a month in Japan the summer of my senior year, and we ate sushi, chicken-feet soup and, for breakfast, a bowl of hot rice into which we cracked a raw egg and let it cook, then wrapped the concoction with a piece of sushi dipped in soy sauce. Delicious.

But when we stumbled upon a store called American Donut, we fell on the pastries like a pack of American wolves. Even though nearly every culture has something similar, dough fried in fat and slathered with sugary icing seems so, so American.

Unfortunately, it's something we gluten-free folks don't get too much of.

Well, hang on.

Dunkin' Donuts is coming to our rescue.

See also: - Cibo's Gluten-Free Pizza Is a Life Saver - Cooking Gluten-Free: The Fresh 20 Makes It Easy(ish)

DD has announced that it will be the first national retail chain to offer a gluten-free product. They've been testing a cinnamon-sugar cake donut and a blueberry muffin in stores in the northeast, and promise to roll it out across the country by the end of the year. It hasn't arrived in Arizona yet.

The products will be made in gluten-free kitchens and wrapped separately so as not to be tainted by those other gluteny offerings in the display case. Early reports from those able to sample are that the products taste good.

Why such a limited offering, you ask? Well, gluten-free backed goods are tricky, as any gluten-freer can tell you. Getting a consistency similar to regular flour requires a delicate balance of different flours from rice, sorghum, garbanzo bean, and others. And then, to try to replicate the sticky, stretchiness of gluteny dough, you have to add guar gum or xanthan gum, and, even then, you don't get the same rising action you get with a gluteny dough.

So, good for you, DD, for giving it a go. I'll be stopping by as soon as the doughnut arrives to give it a try.

And just thinking about donuts gave me a craving. So if you can't wait for DD, you can always stop by Nami.

I drove to the CenPho coffee/dessert shop Sunday morning through pouring rain and was delighted to find a gluten-free chocolate doughnut with black and white icing, and a banana nut doughnut with lots of walnuts on top, both light, crumbly, delicious, and sooooo American.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Judith Nichols