Tag Archives: Dunkin Donuts

April Fools! 6 Gluten-Free Pranks to Play Today

I’ll be back soon with more absences of answers to ever-present questions about celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders, but I thought I’d take a break for April Fools Day.

This day last year, I convinced a few people that Dunkin Donuts would be going all gluten-free by 2015 (sorry!). Between then and now, the chain announced that, although it wouldn’t be dropping wheat from its pastries entirely, as I’d “predicted,” it would introduce wheat-free goods to every store nationwide in 2013.

The gluten-free community got pretty excited about that. But sadly, the joke was on us: Dunkin Donuts reversed the decision months later, with little explanation, before I even got to try one of those shrink-wrapped muffins. A lot of people were disappointed, and truth be told, I felt a bit responsible, as though I’d jinxed it. So this year, none o’ that.

However, superstition aside, there’s no reason not to get what laughs we can out of our chronic disease. If you haven’t yet decided what jokes to make today, here are a few you could try:

“Guess what! I don’t have celiac disease after all.”

Just as it’s good to have an all-purpose GF flour blend (if such a thing really exists), a good all-purpose trick comes in handy, too. Play this prank on just about anyone. Take it to the next level by whipping out a sandwich (which should of course be made with a reasonably uncrumbly gluten-free bread, unless you’re a truly dedicated prankster) and taking a big bite.

Girl eating sandwich

This “gluten” sure is good!
Photo © Jessie Jacobson | Flickr

“Soooo . . . celiac disease is contagious.”

Said with a bit of a wince and an “oopsie” expression, this is handy for that annoying coworker who’s always sticking his gluteny hands into your gluten-free snacks. To kick it up a notch, come up to him later, stare intently at his elbow, and when he asks what you’re doing, say, “Oh, I thought I saw some dermatitis herpetiformis. It’s probably nothing, though.”

“Bad news. They just found out potatoes contain gluten.”

This joke has limited utility. Most people with celiac won’t believe it; most non-celiac people already do.

Mr. Potato Head and family

Personified potatoes: Creepy? Yes. Glutenous? No.
Photo © Jeremy Page | Flickr

“I’m going back to school to become a [dietitian/gastroenterologist/celiac disease researcher].”

This is another good one to use at work, though probably not on your boss. If your parents are still paying off loans from your undergraduate English degree, maybe you’d like to try it on them, too. To really go for it, forge a letter of acceptance to display to the skeptics.

“Turns out, gluten is bad for everyone.”

Several savvy authors have made a killing off of this classic, so why not get in on the fun? Arm yourself with statistics and direct your chosen fool to the library to learn more. If it’s in a book, it must be true.

girl eating bread and yelling

Breeeaaddddd. It’s coming for you!
Photo © Eltjo Poort

“Hey, did you hear about that new gluten-free and vegetarian restaurant opening in Washington Heights next month?”

That’s not funny.

gluten-free restaurants in New York - Gluten-Free Fun map

See this map of gluten-free-friendly NYC establishments created by Erin of Gluten-Free Fun (interactive version here)? Cool, right? See how many are north of Central Park? …yep. But hey, it’s home.

Happy April Fools Day! Hope the jokes are on everyone else and not on you.

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Turns out Dunkin’ Donuts ain’t no fool

Looks like the top donut dunkers at a certain nationwide pastry shop got word of my April Fools post and decided to make it a reality. Thanks to my friend Jessica for tipping me off to the Bloomberg article saying so.

mall-334-e1359140947345According to the article, Dunkin’ Donuts “will sell gluten-free cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and blueberry muffins across its U.S. stores this year.” That’s confirmed by real spokespeople at the company, and it beats my prediction of a 2015 nationwide rollout by two years. Not too shabby. (Given my stellar forecasting abilities, I hope that all you GF Cancers are getting ready to heed my predictions when I roll ’em out in a few days. I promise to have everything right, give or take two years.)

No word yet about going all gluten-free by 2020, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed if you keep yours.

I’m excited that there will be more opportunities for all of us to try a Dunkin’ Donuts GF treat very soon, and it’s nice to see our “needs” being recognized by such a large industry player. By the way, the Bloomberg article claims Dunkin’ Donuts will have “the fast-food industry’s first gluten-free pastries nationwide,” which I imagine might have Au Bon Pain a little annoyed, considering that they partnered up with GG’s Original back in 2012 and have been serving gluten-free congo bars and other goodies since then. (Then again, Au Bon Pain may not be quite “fast food,” and congo bars may not be quite “pastries.” Webster tells me pastries are “sweet baked goods made of dough having a high fat content”…but what does that mean? Discuss).

Whoever came first, it seems other national chains may soon follow their lead. Stay tuned. My crystal ball tells me Starbucks is next.

Alongside breaking the good news and highlighting the recent rise in demand for gluten-free products, the Bloomberg article also quotes some buzzkills who point out the false health halo surrounding gluten-free goods. If you happen to have stumbled across this post in search of a miracle weight loss trick, I must warn you that donuts—gluten-free or otherwise—probably aren’t it. (And, at 350 calories and 36 grams of sugar, neither are congo bars.)

Gluten-free Cronuts, on the other hand…those will take inches off your waistline in seconds. Just as soon as someone gets around to developing some.

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Gluten-free runs on Dunkin

Have you heard the news about Dunkin Donuts? Apparently their introduction of gluten-free treats in select Massachusetts and Florida stores was so successful that the stores couldn’t keep them in stock. From what I’ve heard, the two varieties they introduced went over very well, and many people in the celiac community appreciated Dunkin’s cheeky disclaimer, “Still really unhealthy.” Didn’t stop folks from snapping ’em up like hot cakes, but it’s nice to see a chain bucking the trendy “go gluten-free, lose weight” angle.

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Did you have a chance to try one? I intended to on my last visit to Boston, but I didn’t manage to get to one of the few stores that carried them.

Turns out, it doesn’t matter much, because the success was so great that DD is rolling out gluten-free options nationwide. By 2015, all of their ~7,000 stores in the US will carry gluten-free options, and not just the cinnamon sugar donut and blueberry muffin they started out with but also other flavors currently being developed.

ht_gluten_free_dd_jp_121231_wblogThe spokesperson said people reported liking the gluten-free pastries better than the usual goodies on offer (perhaps, I’d wager, because they were shrinkwrapped rather than left out to get stale). He even confirmed there was talk of making all their products gluten-free by 2020, which would make Dunkin Donuts the first large mainstream franchise to go 100% gluten-free. This will be amazing for our community, both in terms of awareness and in terms of available donuts.

To be honest, I’ve never been much of a donut person. When I was younger, I had this odd insistence on only liking one flavor at any given time, so for a few months I’d accept only the powdered sugar donuts, then only the plain, old-fashioned donuts, then only the chocolate glazed donuts. Finally I just admitted defeat and moved on to the muffins (also the “healthier” option, each with only 100 to 300 calories more than the average donut).

Still, having grown up in its native Massachusetts, I do have a huge soft spot in my heart for Dunkin Donuts, mainly caused by a few too many iced coffees with cream and sugar. At the very least, I prefer DD to Starbucks. Less pretension, better coffee.

So I’m super excited for Dunkin Donuts to be all gluten-free by 2020! Are you?

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Sprue Histories: The Presidents Edition

There’s an interesting practice known as baptism by proxy, in which the Church of Latter-Day Saints claims historical figures for the Mormon faith by baptizing living stand-ins. I find this impulse perfectly understandable, albeit morbid and somewhat disrespectful. We all want to believe that the people we admire are sorta, kinda, just like us—and if they’re already dead, who’s to stop us from claiming them for ourselves?

In honor of Presidents Day, I thought I’d perform a little biopsy by proxy, a related practice popular among certain sects of Latter-Day Celiacs. Check it out:

[John F.] Kennedy’s Irish heritage, long duration of gastrointestinal complaints (since childhood), diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome and migraine, presence of severe osteoporosis, and the development of Addison’s disease all lead to a presumptive diagnosis of celiac disease. (Peter H. R. Green, MD)

Although it’s hard to believe that such a prominent figure could’ve managed to go undiagnosed, Dr. Green suggests that steroids might have suppressed Kennedy’s intestinal inflammation and contributed to a misdiagnosis. Good enough for me, Pete! It’s official, JFK was one of us. If he were alive today, I’m sure he’d be right there with his fellow Bostonians trying out the new GF muffins at Dunkin Donuts. It’s humbling, honestly—sure, it took a billion years for the doctors to figure me out, but they never got it right for him, and he was the president of the United States.

Okay, so, that article was news to me, but it’s a few years old, so maybe it wasn’t new to you. To add some real value to this post, I’ve taken the liberty of bringing a few other heads of our state into the celiac fold. As it turns out, the Oval Office attracts a gluten-fearing bunch. Here’s some presidential advice and support for you:

“Nothing short of gluten-independence, it appears to me, can possibly do. A peace on other terms would, if I may be allowed the expression, be a peace of war.”—George Washington
“Baking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.”—Thomas Jefferson
“If we falter and destroy ourselves, it will be because we lost our gluten-freedoms.”—Abraham Lincoln
“The world must be made safe for the gluten-free.”—Woodrow Wilson
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Wait, and gluten. That stuff is in everything.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
“History does not long entrust the care of gluten-freedom to the weak or the timid.”—Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Gluten is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.”—Ronald Reagan
“I misunderestimated gluten.”—George W. Bush
“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”—Barack Obama(By the way, Mr. President, if you make it with Udi’s, then yes. you. can.)
  This one’s too easy. Bill Clinton actually does avoid gluten. For real.

Happy President’s Day. Enjoy your day off, and maybe a nice slice of coconut-flour cake in honor of Washington’s birthday. What do you think—is Dr. Green’s case convincing? And which will come first, a female president or a celiac-diagnosed president?

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