Eatable Luxury: The Rise of the Gourmet Doughnut

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Recent trends in the food – and more specifically dessert – world seem to be changing as quickly as the fashion industry’s seasonal hemlines. From fondue to cupcakes to macaroons to cronuts (the love child of a flaky croissant and a jelly-filled Krispy Kreme), the world has witnessed a flurry of of-the-moment fascination with luxurious pastries.

We had identified a niche in the market: doughnuts as dessert for a high-income group.

So what’s being served up next on the dessert trend menu? Gourmet doughnuts, according to the directors of Love Doughnuts, a family-owned gourmet bakery based in Abu Dhabi. “When we started in 2012, the cupcake was still taking the world by storm. However, we had identified a niche in the market: doughnuts as dessert for a high-income group. We worked hard to transform this humble treat into a luxurious indulgence by using only the highest-quality ingredients and handcrafting each and every one of our pieces.”

Love Doughnut’s specialties include unique flavor combinations, such as wasabi cheesecake, chai latte with cardamom, and white chocolate pistachio with lemon passion fruit. The shop also boasts a gelato station, which uses local ingredients, like camel milk, saffron, and dates.

“It was an arduous task convincing our suppliers that these weren’t going to be cheap doughnuts; no one else in the market was doing it,” explain owners Geeta and Ibrahim. Today, Love Doughnuts claims to be frequented regularly by VIPs.

Turning the mass into the luxurious seems to be a recurring trend everywhere from the kitchen to the runway these days – a phenomenon I like to call “the Moschino effect”. One must look no further than this season’s most prolific accessory among the fashion elite, Moschino’s iPhone case in the shape of a McDonald’s French-fry carton (USD 85), to recognize that all things mass have been accepted by the oh-so-picky 1 percent as “en vogue” – from the popularity of rocking the golden arches on your USD 1,265 red, quilted purse to the rise of mac-n-cheese on 5-star restaurant menus and, most recently, the world’s undying love for artisanal doughnuts.

An era when you can eat a doughnut and still be considered chic?

Now that’s a happy meal.

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