If there is one holiday I hate, it’s Valentine’s Day. While a boy in high school once told me that only single, fat chicks say things like that, I refuse to back down from my pure loathing of this holiday. It is one of the few days out of the year where I want to stay inside and avoid any restaurant at all costs. The other days that land on my ‘Eat at Home’ list are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. The reason why I am so against Valentine’s Day is that it essentially forces couples to be romantic, which takes the romance out of it all, as well as pay twice as much at restaurants that probably aren’t preforming up to their usual standards.
Now, given my distaste for this holiday, I was pretty surprised when I decided to stop into Federal Donuts this past February 14th, especially since donuts have never really done it for me. If you set out one hundred different desserts in front of me, I could safely say that a donut would be either my 99th or 100th choice. Normally, I just don’t understand the appeal of donuts when compared to the other exciting sweets out there, but after hearing rave reviews about the Federal Donuts in Center City and spending a quick break at my internship perusing their Instagram page, I ended up visiting the location on my way back home.
The two flavors I purchased were Valentine’s specials, so I figured I was managing to experience something unique without having to shell out extra money on this holiday. The first one I tried was the Strawberry Covered Chocolate. From my understanding, this was their first chocolate donut, but I’m not sure they should have taken this leap into new territory. The cake was a bit on the dry side, lacked a great chocolate flavor to it, and was completely overpowered by the strawberry glaze that topped it. Even though the strawberry element was super intense, it didn’t really impress me either because it was intense in an over-the-top sweet way, not in a natural strawberry way. This after-dinner dessert did nothing to convince me that my poor opinions on donuts are wrong.
The other sweet treat I tried was the Raspberries & Cream. Out of all the fruits in the world, raspberries are my favorite. I love the tartness of the fruit, and when they’re transferred into a dessert, I tend to be drawn to sorbets and other sweets that intensify the flavor. Since I prefer my raspberry desserts to be stronger in flavor than the fruit by itself, I was hesitant to try it as a topping on a donut. No matter what your taste preferences, this donut had little raspberry flavor to it because the cream glaze overwhelmed everything else. Overall, it was a better donut than the first one I had because the cake was less dried out and it wasn’t as sickeningly sweet, but it still didn’t satisfy me enough to go back.
Unfortunately, Federal Donuts did nothing to change my opinions on either donuts or Valentine’s Day. I may come back one day to try their fried chicken, but it’s certainly not a place I will be rushing back to. I was expecting a bit more from the Cook + Solo team. As for not changing my views on the holiday about love, I can’t say I’m all that disappointed. Until I find a guy who realizes that my idea of romance is a basil plant over a bouquet of flowers, I’m pretty content in my boycott of this February celebration.