To evoke the spirit of a cultural icon: Mmmm… doughnut. Opening last spring, Jelly Modern Doughnuts is “Canada’s original doughnut bakery café.” A first of its kind in town, it offers a plethora of pastries that’ll draw in even the most hard-core calorie-conscious crowd.
Helmed by Chef Grayson Sherman, a man no stranger to the culinary scene in Calgary and New York City, the JMD bakery is somewhat easy to miss: it’s an unassuming and simple storefront at the corner of 8th St. and 14 Ave SW. But the lure of the sweet smell wafting outside — blocks away, even — is intoxicating and enough to make you follow your nose to the bright and contemporary décor with floor-to-ceiling windows, white walls and bamboo shelves and countertops.
The gourmet goods on display are hand-made fresh every morning; no preservatives, and mainly using locally sourced ingredients. It’s a mandate that resonated with Chef Sherman’s reputation for sustainable goods and community, so think Chinook Honey, Vablella Meats, Vital Green and Lund’s Organic carrots, to name a few. Even the packaging, from the plates to the plastic tongs, is made from recycled material and meant to be recycled again. When they make too many doughnuts during the day, the excess goes to local food banks and charities. Makes the $25/dozen price-point go down a little easier.
By far, the best part of doing things for the community is the hours — open every day. Every day is a chance to sink your teeth into top-selling favourites like the s’mores (chocolate ganache, hand-filled with marshmallow and bits of graham cracker crumbs) and my personal favourite, maple bacon (dipped in a maple glaze topped off by Valbella bacon). The doughnuts are soft and not overly sweet, yet still have your conscience battling it out over whether to have another.
With such a non-stop schedule, Jelly Modern rotates the menu each day, which makes a few doughnuts harder to try, like the marshmallow (homemade marshmallow crème dipped in a Madagascar vanilla glaze) and the Skor bar (glazed in chocolate ganache and topped off with homemade Skor pieces).
Just to keep things mixing, the chefs create their own unique masterpiece every Saturday. Keeping within the idea of diversity, the doughnut sandwich is soft, chewy and comprised of a plain doughnut with your choice of egg salad, roast beef or organic peanut butter, plus cheese or homemade jelly. Also try out the cakes, which are essentially a bigger doughnut with different flavours like the banana bread with chocolate chips, dipped in a caramelized banana glaze.
No time like the present, though, particularly given the JMD Holiday Menu. Happy holey holidays! 100, 1414 8 St. S.W. 403-453-2053.
Image courtesy of Adam Trinh.