The globalized world may not be flat, but it is round. And also frosted. And also, it must be said, delicious.
In 2012, Dunkin' Donuts—that quintessentially American purveyor of that quintessentially American thing, larded sugar-dough—launched in India. The 34 stores that are now spread across the country sell many products that will be familiar to American consumers: coffee, bagels, sandwiches, and, yep, doughnuts. They also sell items that were formulated specifically for Indian consumers: veggie burgers, lychee coolattas, and spicy sandwiches. The menu deviates so far from U.S. stores' traditional breakfast-y fare that, in India, the chain brands itself as "Dunkin' Donuts and More."
The doughnuts themselves also come in country-specific flavors. And to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in India, Dunkin' Donuts just launched several new flavors of the breakfast item-that-is-actually-a-dessert. Among them: a Kesar Badam (saffron-inflected almond milk) doughnut, topped with saffron cream, blanched almonds, and crushed pistachios; a milk cake doughnut filled with rice pudding; a Soan Papdi (flaky pastry) doughnut coated with chickpea flour; and a white chocolate doughnut topped with guava and chili.
Pedro D’Mello, head of the food division for Dunkin’ Donuts India, told The Wall Street Journal that it took him and his team three months to formulate the new doughnuts. (He also considered other flavors, including cardamom and beetle nut extract.) The ones that have made their way into the stores of "Dunkin Donuts and More" are sweet little encapsulations of the globalized world: an American product with a distinctly Indian flavor. As the Dunkin' Donuts patron Ravi Sharma told the Journal of the Diwali doughnuts: "I think it’s a great idea. Who had ever thought that one day high-end doughnut stores would draw inspiration from Indian streets?"