Here are the facts: last fall Seth Rogen brought famed chef David Chang to the Granville Island institution that is Lee’s Donuts. The duo barged past such Lee’s classics as the honey-dipped and maple-iced to pretty much lose their minds over the jelly doughnuts: “This is literally the best thing I’ve have ever eaten,” said Chang, and a few weeks later it was announced that Chang was opening a restaurant here. Such is the power of the jelly doughnut (and, to a lesser extent, cannabis). The sugar-dusted, jam-filled pastry is on the rise these days, just as its hole-in-the-middle cousin’s aura is starting to wane. And while we’ll always love Lee’s, we’re really digging the updated models offered by Chinatown’s new Mello café, a yellow jewel box of a room that specializes in the treats. (And good news in COVID times: they deliver via DoorDash and UberEats!) Here, the team has a light hand with the sugar and doubles down on patisserie-grade fillings like vanilla bean, dark chocolate pudding, lemon curd and PB&J.
6 Fun Facts About Jelly Doughnuts
1. In the Prairies it’s called a Bismarck; in Germany it’s a Berliner.
2. Fill it with cream, like this one, and it technically becomes a Boston cream doughnut.
3. Mello makes its vanilla doughnut with fresh creme patisserie every day using milk, eggs, sugar and a generous amount of Madagascar vanilla beans.
4. A jelly doughnut is a yeast doughnut, meaning that it rises when cooked.
5. The key to a great jelly doughnut, according to Chang? “I love the textural contrast. You get it from the sugar. You get it from the actual doughnut. It’s soft and crunchy, and yet has the subtle acidity from the jelly.”
6. “Doughnut” is technically the correct spelling, “donut” being an American contraction that gained popularity thanks in part to the mass market purveyors Dunkin’ Donuts.