My mind never strays far from doughnuts, so I was stoked to find this video on Current that examines the late-night doughnut scene in San Francisco. I had previously enjoyed filmmaker Matt Fisher’s other videos, especially a piece on his urban beekeeping operation, so the bar had definitely been set high.
About one minute into the video, I almost spit out my coffee onto my keyboard. First, Fisher attempts to explain the socioeconomic distinctions in sweet consumption by claiming that rich people eat “vegan pastries” while poor people eat “trans-fat-laden, sugar-dipped doughnuts.” Last time I checked, only vegan people eat vegan pastries. And there’s a reason that culinary doughnut shops like Dynamo (which creates flavors like caramel fleur de sel and lemon pistachio) exist.
Fisher also claims that late-night doughnut shops are for drug addicts. Yes, this is San Francisco, there are drug addicts all over the place, but I’ve been in all the doughnut shops he’s been into and I’d say they’re mostly filled with lonely people. If they were 30 years younger and had MacBooks they’d probably be in a coffee shop.
And finally, Fisher entangles himself in a some sort of claim against independent-store owners and workers at doughnut shops because according to a report by the Los Angeles Times, about 75 percent of the stores are owned by Cambodians who don’t speak English. Hey Matt, why don’t you say hello to Aya at Bob’s Donuts next time you visit. Last time I checked I can’t speak Khmer and our conversation about your video went over just fine (plus she’s Japanese, not Cambodian).
Eating doughnuts is nothing to feel guilty about; neither is eating them at a late-night establishment (Bob’s, which is my favorite, has new batches coming out every night at around midnight, and a great counter to sit at). At the very least, you have to admit that you get a ping of excitement when you walk into a room and see that signature pink box filled to the brim with old-fashioneds and maple bars, right?
I am still excited to see an investigative piece on the SF doughnut scene, but maybe next time it can make a little more sense. For now, maybe Matt should go back and check on those bees—he could use the inspiration.