By Phineas J. Stone
I’m a little nervous this week.
I have no reason to be other than the fact that things that were certain keep changing, and this week is no different.
The change that’s got me all bunched up is that Dunks announced they’re taking some steadfast gems off the menu. The jettisoning some of their tried and true donuts.
Could it be the strawberry frosted?
Lord I hope not.
Few things are as disgusting, unhealthy, but traditional in Boston as the Dunkin’ Donuts strawberry frosted. I’ve gone to the trough for a pink-iced sinker for most of my life.
True enough, they aren’t what they used to be. In the old days when they had the “Time to make the Donuts” guy, Dunks made most of their donuts on site – so that meant the cakie part was moist and the frosting wasn’t like a hard candy shell. Nowadays they make them at a Central Baking Facility somewhere in the depths of the industrial areas in Canton or Everett. God knows where they come from, but they arrive every day by truck.
They don’t taste the same, and the icing doesn’t have the old charm that it once did, but they still look the same.
Pink with multi-colored jimmies.
I don’t care that it doesn’t taste like strawberry; it never did. I don’t even care that the quality has gone down the toilet compared to the culinary delights found at spots like Blackbird. I just enjoy the tradition of it – a once a week weakness for decades.
Nothing extravagant, but just a taste of New England-born weird things that I’ve had most of my life.
Now it could be gone.
Safe to say I could live with the maple frosted, which tastes more like burnt coffee than anything maple. But the maple frosted doesn’t have the same cache of a strawberry frosted.
Why would they do such a thing?
Well, let’s be square with one another.
The Boston that bore the strawberry frosted ain’t here no more. Very few of these little Boston idiosyncrasies still exist.
The things of a neighborhood that are part of the subculture of a subculture are pretty foreign today, though at one time it was just common knowledge on the street. Most people wouldn’t even know what a strawberry frosted is today, nor would they understand what one wants if they ask for a “tonic.” (For those that don’t know, that’s a soda).
Well, things do change, and maybe my strawberry frosted is going to go the way of the history books.
Perhaps there’s room for other guilty pleasures – ones that actually still taste good.
- • •
I had a buddy who thought last week’s entry about Boston nick-names was pretty funny, especially given the context of his life.
It seems many years ago he was running for a neighborhood post back in the days when there were hotly contested elected neighborhood posts. The powers that be at City Hall were requiring him use the name on his driver’s license for the ballot. However, his real name was Doug, but his whole life – for reason’s only known to his parents – he was called “Mucka.” Everyone right down to the Parish priest called him “Mucka.”
And he really didn’t want anyone to know his real name was Doug.
In the days before a personal brand was what it is today, Mucka was his brand. So, he wanted his name on the ballot to be his nickname.
The city said no.
He begged; they gave in.
But there had been some confusion in the printing of the ballot, and both names appeared. On Election Day, voters had a choice of Doug or “Mucka.”
His biggest worry was that people would find out his name and his friends would give him trouble. To his surprise, on election day, good old Mucka lost out to Doug.
No one knew who Doug was, but they certainly knew Mucka – and they weren’t votin’ for him.
Good old Mucka never showed up on inauguration night, and most of the neighborhood spent months trying to find out who this Doug character was.
Who needs a strawberry frosted when you’ve got a Mucka?