Sunday, December 16, 2012

Olympic Doughnuts, Footscray by Big Fil

Olympic Doughnuts is a real throw back, back to when the world was a simpler and less cynical place. They come from a time way before the American culinary imperialism of Starbucks, Krispy Kreme or Donut King, back even before MacDonalds or Hungry Jacks hit Australian shores.  They come from a time when visitors to the special events such as the yearly agricultural shows would be greeted by vans piping the sounds of ‘Fresh American Doughnuts.  Get them while they’re hot”, when American style foods were considered an exotic once a year occasion.  That’s the era that Olympic Doughnuts comes from.

And that makes them way cool for two reasons.  If you’re over a certain age you might remember what a special treat these once were.  Far divorced from the neat, pristine iced donuts of today, these were the ugly ducklings of the donut world and only came in two versions – cinnamon or jam.  They were hot, they were sticky on your fingers, and back when even spaghetti or sweet and sour pork was treated with suspicion it was a reminder that there was a big wide world out there.  Alternatively, for those who don’t go back that far, these are the old skool real deal rather than some shallow reproduction that only fools phools who weren’t there at the time.

The Olympic donut van is located in a well tagged corner of the Footscray train station.  Apparently it was in some danger of being demolished as part of the Footscray train station redevelopment but fortunately sanity (and good taste) prevailed.  While very simple, just fried dough rolled in sugar and impregnated with jam by a fearsome dolphin, I thought these were very good old style donuts.  A bit denser and ‘breadier’ than their modern cousins without being overly heavy, these need to be eaten while still warm and fortunately the constant demand results in sufficient turnover that ours were still toasty warm.

The jam is added at the last moment to the donut which I think may help it to retain its fluffy texture.  It’s added to the donut via a dolphin headed dispenser that if it wasn’t such an integral part of the experience here I’d like to take it home.  It is kind of scary though, as it looks like it would be a pretty effective weapon in a fight given its only meant to be part of preparing jam donuts.

We’d already had breakfast before coming here so only shared the two.  The end result though, 20 sticky fingers, 2 mouths with slight jam smudges in the corners, and one enormous wave of nostalgia.

At how many places can you get a trip down memory lane for just 80 cents?  Old skool donuts, get ‘em while they’re hot. 

Food – 8
Service – 8
Ambience – 7
Price – 8.5

Irving Street, corner Footscray Train Station
Footscray VIC 3011

Olympic Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

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