Photos by MJ Klein, including FOOD PHOTOS!
UPDATE: Please see the last photo in this article for an update.
Dunkin’ Donuts is a global phenomenon and it’s reached Taiwan.
Known throughout the United States, and primarily New England, Dunkin’ Donuts is rather new here and people are discovering it for themselves. But the DD’s in Taiwan are quite a bit different from their American counterpart, and we’ll show you how in this article about our recent visit to a Dunkin’ Donuts in Kaohsiung.
According to Wikipedia, Dunkin’ Donuts plans on opening 100 new stores over the next 10 years. That is already starting to happen. Let’s take a look inside. Remember, photography is forbidden inside the store (like many places in Taiwan) so all the photos except for our own food are undercover shots.
The first thing that we noticed was that the donut case shelves are angled towards the customers and have an open front. This is because this Dunkin’ Donuts is self service on the donuts. Hui-chen and I visited another DD location and found the same arrangement. Notice that Hui-chen is holding a tray and a pair of tongs for grabbing the donuts. The trays are bare, with no paper covering on them, per Taiwan usual operating procedure. We’ve been to many places where you’re expected to put your clean food on a bare tray and it makes no sense. But that’s how it’s done here in Taiwan.
If you look closely you’ll notice that there are several varieties of donuts that are not offered in the US stores, such as these “love donuts” shaped like hearts.
In fact, the vast majority of donuts offered are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the US. Let’s take a closer look at what we bought:
When you bring your bare tray of donuts to the checkout counter, the sales person will wrap each donut in a piece of tissue paper. It seems wasteful and unnecessary, because the tissue paper wasn’t used to handle the donut as it is in the US.
The odd shaped donut on the right is some kind of a ring, but I forgot what they called it. I’d never seen it before I visited a Dunkin’ Donuts in Taiwan. The donut on the left is a strawberry-blueberry combination. The icing on the top was rather thick.
The blueberry jelly filling seemed a bit sparce.
This is a bowtie donut, and except for the chocolate and vanilla laces on it, the bowtie was pretty much what you would expect by the looks of it. Basically a glazed donut.
This was one of the few types of donuts that you can also get in the US – the blueberry cake donut.
This blueberry cake donut is almost exactly the same as it’s US counterpart, with one noticeable exception. In fact, all the donuts were exceptional in this regard: the sugar content was significantly reduced! While I liked Dunkin’ Donuts in the US, I always felt that the products were too sweet. I often ordered coffee drinks with no sugar in them. The Taiwanese Dunkin’ Donuts have adjusted their recipes to suit local tastes, and that means less sweetness. Personally I thought the products tasted just fine and the difference in sugar in the US products is unnecessary. I wish the US products were made like these, with less sugar. I’m sure it would benefit the health of the patrons!
This is our last shot – my drink. A caramel/coffee concoction, I thought that this reduced sugar product was every bit as good as anything I’ve had in the USA.
So, if you’re in the mood for donuts you can drop into your local Dunkin’ Donuts here in Taiwan, secure in the knowledge that their products feature reduced sugar!
UPDATE: 2010, 10, 07:
Hui-chen and I visited the Hsinchu Dunkin’ Donuts located in the basement of the Sogo building in the downtown area. We found that their trays all had paper liners on them (mobile phone photo above). Upon seeing this, Hui-chen’s memory was jogged and she remembered seeing signs in Kaohsiung that paper tray liners were available, but patrons had to ask for them.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave us your comments and recommendations below. We welcome re-tweets! Please use the Share This! service, available just below the article.