Q: What's better than a piping hot Krispy Kreme doughnut?
A: A piping hot kosher Krispy Kreme doughnut -- and just in time for Chanukah, which has a holiday tradition of eating fried foods like doughnuts.
Ever since the franchise expanded beyond its Southeast roots, Krispy Kreme has been held up as an example of the ultimate doughnut treat. Now observant Jews can finally discover what all the fuss is about, since the Southern California version of the popular pastry received kosher certification this month through Kosher Supervision of America (KSA). The certification includes all varieties, from the original glazed to the chocolate-iced and custard-filled.
"We certify the doughnuts, not the establishments because they are open for Shabbat," said Rabbi Tzemach Rosenfeld, a KSA mashgiach, who noted that the doughnuts and the prepacked beverages are kosher as well.
Roger Glickman, president of Great Circle Family Foods, the Southern California developer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, said his company had been deluged with requests for kosher certification since Krispy Kreme shops first opened here in 1999. He said the company has always used kosher ingredients, but needed to wait until there was greater demand for the product to invest in the certification process, and now that there are 21 stores and grocery distribution, it is time.
The certification opens up several fundraising options for the Jewish community. Glickman said already he has been contacted by a number of Jewish day schools inquiring about the partnership program that makes doughnuts available to nonprofit and community organizations at a deep discount. The organization then arranges a "Doughnut Day" during which they sell the doughnuts at a substantial markup. The company also has a program using "partnership cards," which are sold to the nonprofit organizations for $5 and are typically resold by the organization for about $10. The bearer of the card can then redeem it for 10 dozen original glazed doughnuts.
Rosenfeld said the response he's received since the certification has been tremendous.
"There is something unique about a Krispy Kreme," the rabbi said, adding that although he doesn't indulge in them himself, "The feedback I get from the people is they just melt in your mouth."