Pictured is a Krispy Kreme custard-filled, chocolate hand-dipped donut (halo by me). How on earth does this relate to living in the French Alps? It doesn’t really. I just wanted to find an excuse to talk about these delicious donuts. See, there are lots of foods that I miss here in the Alps. Vegetarian supplies aren’t in much demand, so during my visit to England last week, I stocked up on Beanfeast vegie spag bol, Quorn vegie products and Haloumi cheese (which isn’t just for vegetarians, obviously, but very hard to find anywhere in the Alps). As I waited to board my flight with my bags full of English goodies, I kept my little bag with my single Krispy Kreme donut close to me, careful not to squash it. Then I saw a lady with an entire box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Then another lady. Then a teenage girl. Presuming their boxes were filled with the typical dozen, that’s 36 donuts on my flight, not including mine.
Once seated on the plane, the stewardess saw my bag and quizzed me about whether these donuts really are as good as everyone says. “Of course!” I said, “They’re fantastic.” She explained that she has resisted sampling them because she doesn’t want to start a new addiction. We chatted and joked about a donut for a few minutes — the longest I’ve ever spent talking to any airline staff apart from the check-in man who made me take some of my British food goodies out of my overweight suitcase despite my friendly pleas that I was only carrying minimal hand luggage — which was a few minutes later brimming with 1.5kg of food that had been in my suitcase. Maybe I should have arrived at the check-in desk with a Krispy Kreme donut to sway him.
When the stewardess got on with her pre-flight duties, the man sitting next to me carried on. “You shouldn’t have mentioned the Krispy Kreme donut,” he said, “because if you fall asleep, it won’t be there when you wake up.” As the conversation continued, I learnt that my donut, just like the one pictured here, was not his favourite. He wanted a simple sugared donut with raspberry filling. He said my donut was safe: chocolate icing is all wrong even on a Krispy Kreme, and anything but jam filling is just as bad.
As soon as our donut discussion came to an end, he turned his head to look out the window, and eventually buried his head in a newspaper. My donut managed to soften this otherwise silent seat neighbour!
So, I was wondering what would happen if Krispy Kremes came to France. Would we all finally discover a language that we all understand? Would Savoyardes, other French and non-French people all just be friends? And would the shop owner keep a few of the favourites hidden so that there’d be some for the regulars coming in later on? Would they be pronounced “Krispy Krem” by the French, causing massive confusion for locals serving the tourists (“what is zis ‘crispic ream‘ thing zey are talking about?”). Perhaps I could open a shop on the St Jean de Sixt roundabout that no longer has a hut on in. Imagine the new friendships! Imagine the donut love! Imagine the chaos of the queues. Maybe, then, the roundabout mannequins wouldn’t seem like such a health and safety risk.