Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

In partnership with the Idaho Potato Commission

By Eliza Amari

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Virgil Roundtree

Downstate Donuts started life by literally pedaling its products via a custom-made “donut trike” before opening a brick-and-mortar location. With its niche focus on potato-based donuts, the brand swiftly amassed a dedicated fan base. Chef/Owner Virgil Roundtree points to high-quality, wholesome ingredients as one of the keys to the donut shop’s success. He sources Idaho potatoes, explaining that potatoes add moisture to the donut dough, producing a soft, fluffy texture. “Pastry dough and Idaho potatoes work so well together,” says Roundtree.

Among the lineup of classic donut offerings, the Miso-Honey Butter was inspired by Roundtree’s personal love of Japanese cuisine. He counters the savory flavor of the miso with honey for an earthy, rich sweetness delivered in a buttery glaze. “It sounds very savory, but it’s so well balanced. I love playing with savory flavors from faraway lands,” he says, noting that donuts are an ideal platform to incorporate less-common flavors. “Because everyone loves donuts, it’s a non-aggressive way to introduce unique ingredients.”

About The Author

Eliza Amari

Eliza Amari is special projects editor for Flavor & The Menu.