Monday, April 16, 2007

Finding the Short Line

Click any of these pictures to see a bigger version.

If you've had it with news and pictures of Krispy Kreme in Japan, there's nothing to see here, move along. If your interest remains intact but you haven't stopped by because the long lines scare you off, read on. As you can see by the picture above, the line isn't too bad. This picture was taken around 9:15 a.m. on a Monday (today).

This sign in front of shop tells those approaching it approximately how long they will be waiting and, as you can see, the wait is only 20 minutes.

The key to waiting a shorter time is rain. As you can see by this bin full of cheap umbrellas that the shop put out for the convenience of those waiting in line who don't happen to have one, it was raining when these pictures were taken.

Nearly everything in Tokyo becomes easier to accomplish when it rains. If you hate lines and crowds more than you hate rain, waiting for a rainy day to go out and about is probably a good idea. I remember that I rarely could park my bicycle on the ground level of the paid parking area near the station unless it was raining. Rain saved me from having to trudge up the steps to the second floor and walk to the back of the cavernous parking building.

My husband decided to go off his healthy eating plan for a brief time and made a pilgrimage to Krispy Kreme this morning. He also had to order our new refrigerator so he had to be in Shinjuku anyway. He got some new shots of the KK experience in Tokyo.

Here's a happy KK employee handing out warm, fresh donuts to those standing in line. My husband told me that one of his students decided to try out KK and he was given a fresh one, ate it, and decided he was sated and just left. Note that the pylons are taped down to keep the throngs from moving them.

From outside, my husband caught some shots of the donut-making process. Here are racks of rings waiting to enter the fryer. Since only the basic glazed donuts are made on the premises, they're all the same.

The pale lovelies begin their journey from dough to your love handles by being fried on one side.

Here the donuts have been flipped over in the oil to fry the other side. One donut didn't make the trip and its tender underbelly is exposed.

The donuts are exiting the oil and draining off. Notice that the "caution" message about "pinch points" and watching your hands is in English.

At this point, the donuts go from fried bread to evil, sugary rings. The white under the glazing area is an accumulation of excess glaze that has built up. I'd hate to be in charge of cleaning that up.

Since this is spring in Japan, many shops offer cherry-flavored food as a short-term specialty. The sign says the Cherry Kiss donuts are filled with "cherry jelly" and sprinkled with "maple powdered sugar". My husband picked up a few of these, and while they aren't bad, the jelly in KK's donuts always seems pretty pedestrian. Fortunately, you can't really taste the maple aspect of the powdered sugar since cherry and maple aren't exactly a natural flavor combination in my opinion.

On the flip side of the laminated flyer which shows the Cherry Kiss donuts (which is attached to the menus they hand out to people waiting in line), there is a list of cherry drinks. If you click the picture, you can see the English written next to them but I'll type them here to save you the trouble - Pepsi Cola with Cherry, 7-Up with Cherry, and Krispy Kreme Coffee Smooth with Cherry. The last one seems incredibly odd. I'm not even sure what the "smooth" part is supposed to mean since the coffee looks like normal coffee (not a smoothie). The Japanese doesn't say "smuji" (which is what the Japanese call a smoothie) so I'm not sure what the "smooth" part is all about.


CMUwriter said...

I should have skipped that post because after reading it i got a really bad craving for a donut. I really like how the cones are taped to the ground so people won't move them. There must be some serious donut addicts to have to go to that extreme measure!

Shari said...

The taping down is sort of funny because the Japanese are hardly known as being unruly.

Food cues are potent though. It's one of the reasons you get such loving shots of melted cheese on pieces of pizza in ads, or close-ups of moist brownie squares.

Oops, I think I've made your situation worse. ;-)

YETTE said...

my mouth watered when I saw the photos. =D

when I was in japan, i used to buy custard cream donuts at Mister Donut. It was very close to my husband's apartment (right outside the train station actually) so i bought some when i had cravings. i miss that because we don't have the custard cream variety in our Mister Donut outlets here. I'm not sure if we have Krispy Kreme donuts in Manila but if i find out there is, i'll surely try some. =D