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9 Unforgivable Donuts and Where to Find Them

Here's where to find 9 donuts that will make you regret having been born with functioning taste buds.

Donuts are one of the primary benefits of being alive and converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. They’ve got everything – sugar, carbs, fillings, and Essential Sprinkles. But some people are enemies of joy, and they can’t leave things well enough alone without corrupting them with various umami abominations. Here are 9 of the worst offenders throughout the United States.

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PHOTO: The Doughnut Project
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The Everything Donut

(Let’s be real: A lot of this list is going to be putting the entire municipality of New York City on blast for donut crimes.) It’s exactly what it sounds like – you ever eat a donut and think to yourself “I wish this experience could remind me more of an everything bagel because I came out of the womb clutching an attaché case and humming Pat Boone”? If you’ve ever ordered this donut, which, yes, features poppy seeds, garlic, and sesame seeds, I’m begging you to take classes on how to smile convincingly. Your blood has turned to dust.

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PHOTO: Yelp
2 OF 9

The Ballpark

Now, you listen to me: I love Southern cooking. When my wretched body returns to the earth, I want to be buried beneath a Waffle House so that I can possess the jukebox and make everyone listen to “There Are Raisins In My Toast” from beyond the veil of death. And I’m absolutely putting my for-now-corporeal foot down on this abomination, which features jalapeno sausage, Fritos, and mustard, and also it’s a donut. This looks like the result of the world’s worst hangover, where somebody decided that JUST a donut and JUST a Frito chili pie wouldn’t cut it, so they decided to make the culinary version of a mashup of The Bee Gees and 12 hours of live birth sounds.

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PHOTO: Nir Arbiv
3 OF 9

The Beet Salad

WHERE: The Glazed Gourmet, Charleston, SC

The Beet Salad donut features goat cheese glaze, candied fennel, beet custard, and a deep and abiding disregard for the value of human life. This is a donut that could only be devised by an escalating game of sadistic Mad Lib, where you just begin naming the worst kinds of donuts you can think of. I acknowledge that I’m biased here, and that I bear the body politic of all beets a grudge for tasting like the floor of a warehouse, but some flavors were never meant to intersect with yeast, and one of those is beets. The sleeper hit of this is “candied fennel,” because I wasn’t aware that I could become upset just from learning about different things that can be candied.

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PHOTO: Henry Hargreaves
4 OF 9

Rosemary Road

WHERE: Doughnuttery, New York City, NY

This donut is something a muttonchopped Victorian physician would prescribe to a grieving widow: “Yes, hm, you should eat this invigorating puck of rosemary, cornmeal, and fig. Powerful healthy oils in the cornmeal, work like a charm in de-grieving your sadsome parts.” Any one of those ingredients by themselves is enough of a problem, being in or around a donut, but the unholy triumvirate of them all together is enough to make me swear off having a mouth forever. Keep your penance and your dessert on opposite sides of the plate, please.

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PHOTO: The Doughnut Project
5 OF 9

Bone Marrow Donut

“Haha,” I thought to myself at one point, “I know what things are.” But I was a child living in a fantasy land in those days, because I hadn’t anticipated that there would be such a thing as a donut made with “bone marrow chocolate.” No, that’s not a euphemism – it’s bona-fide gotdanged BONE MARROW that they put in with the chocolate, as though that’s a thing we all acknowledge to be an option in our lives, and they cover it with chocolate shavings and clementine glaze. But you’re not thinking about any of that while you’re eating this. You’re thinking “This donut is filled with Bone Juice,” and whose Bone Juice is it? A human’s? An animal’s? Enjoy your bonut.

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PHOTO: Gourdough's
6 OF 9

The Country Clucker

These monsters again. Consider the Country Clucker, which is, I stress again here, a donut, but also contains fried chicken, a potato pancake, creamed corn, and candied jalapenos. Creamed corn by itself is already one of the nastiest foods I can think of because it’s like you’re being fed corn like a baby bird by a toothless old man on a Cracker Barrel porch, but again with the Candied Items That Don’t Need Candying? The potato pancake is the final indignity on this devil’s casserole of a donut. If anything has the word “potato” in it, I’m begging you to keep it far away from donuts.

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PHOTO: Dunwell Facebook
7 OF 9

Black Licorice Donut

Let’s all stop fooling ourselves: The Eagles have never been good, PT Cruisers look like an orthopedic shoe you can drive, and black licorice tastes like a wet ashtray. I’m partial to licorice sometimes, like when I’ve just gotten my tonsils taken out and everything tastes like blood, but it doesn’t belong within the same neighborhood as a donut. As if the funereal frosting color wasn’t enough, there are great hunks of black licorice embedded in the donut like it was found on the side of the road and we all agreed that that was fine. Unbelievable.

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PHOTO: ellenm1 / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
8 OF 9

Porkey's

AHHHHH FOR GOD’S SAKE, this is literally just several hunks of meat haphazardly affixed to a donut with a swath of cream cheese and the pure hateful cussedness it takes to yell “technically it’s still a donut” after nailing cooked flesh to a pastry. This is just the logical conclusion of the extremely early-2010s tendency to put bacon (or whiskey, or maple) on something and decide that it’s quirky enough to charge money for. And to boot, it references one of the worst smutty comedies of all time, although in fairness, the movie and this Wad of Canadian Meat gives me the same sad, queasy feeling deep in my gut.

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PHOTO: Nir Arbiv
9 OF 9

The Monte Cristo

In much the same way that The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic tale of betrayal and anguish, this donut presents the purest kind of betrayal: Donut Transgression. The Monte Cristo is what happens when a ham-and-cheese sandwich gets run through the teleportation pod from THE FLY with a strawberry jelly donut. At this point, at the bottom of the list, my tongue is so confused and hurt and upset that I can’t legitimately tell if this is disgusting or not. Is ham and strawberry jelly a good flavor combination? Is ANYTHING a good flavor combination? We’re born with one mouth and this is how we choose to treat it. We all allowed this to happen.