Time to eat the donuts?
July 13, 2012 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Donut Dispute.

My buddy at work Jake is visiting his family in Portland, OR, and has promised to mail me couple of bacon maple bars from Voodoo Donuts. Pips says that after going through the US Mail they won't be safe to eat. I say they'll be fine.

What's the verdict, MeFites?
posted by jonmc to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As long as you overnight them, they'll be fine. Safe to eat probably even longer than that.

I can't condone eating a donut that's more than a day old, food safety issues notwithstanding.
posted by phunniemee at 6:24 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Assuming that they don't contain any ingredients that need to be refrigerated in order to prevent spoiling, they'll be fine. Wrap them in plastic before packaging. When I was in college, my sister used to bake brownies and mail them to me, and they were delicious.
posted by decathecting at 6:24 PM on July 13, 2012

I got a voodoo donut in the mail a coupe of years ago. It was a little banged up but tasted great.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:26 PM on July 13, 2012

They might not be superdelicious any more but they'll still be safe to eat after a day or two.
posted by elizardbits at 6:28 PM on July 13, 2012

Best answer: Yeah, they'll be fine.

We live two blocks from the eastside Voodoo Doughnuts, and I'm seven months pregnant. I can hear those maple bacon bars calling me... calling me...
posted by Specklet at 6:28 PM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]

Nothing that might grow on a maple bacon bar could possibly be worse for your body than consuming said maple bacon bar.
posted by JimmyJames at 6:29 PM on July 13, 2012 [16 favorites]

It's the bacon especially that worries me (Nervous Nelly that I am)... I have visions of them sitting in a hundred degree warehouse or truck for hours... for Voodoo, though, I must admit, I might risk it, too.

(Hi Specklet! And wee Specklet... :)
posted by pips at 6:48 PM on July 13, 2012

These are no ordinary doughnuts—they have strips of bacon on top. StillTasty says that cooked bacon should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.

So no, unless they are shipped refrigerated or frozen. I wouldn't eat bacon that had been on unrefrigerated trucks in the summer overnight or for days.
posted by grouse at 6:49 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I should add that my friend Jake is a very smart kid, just the type who might ask the folks at Voodoo the best way to ship the aforemntioned tasty treat.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 PM on July 13, 2012

I see they have plain old maple bars. I'd get that, and add my own bacon.
posted by Wordwoman at 6:53 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Voodoo's web site says:
We do not ship doughnuts!!!
Our product has a life expectancy of 8-12 hours. This is not long enough to ship it overnight in a cargo bay with no pressurization that deflates and doesn't "re-inflate" your doughnuts". Anyone who ships you doughnuts is just ripping you off, we won't do it.
I see they have plain old maple bars. I'd get that, and add my own bacon.

That's not a bad idea. I love bacon and I don't like the bacon Voodoo uses on their maple bacon bars.
posted by grouse at 7:00 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is not long enough to ship it overnight in a cargo bay with no pressurization that deflates and doesn't "re-inflate" your doughnuts".

Maybe your friend could pack them in a canning jar.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:08 PM on July 13, 2012

Response by poster: You guys are killing me here.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 PM on July 13, 2012

This is why men with wives live longer. : )
posted by pips at 7:29 PM on July 13, 2012 [13 favorites]

Hey, we're talking about jonmc, here. Have you guys seen the crap that he likes to eat? He's probably already more well preserved and shelf stable than an entire truckload of Twinkies.

Overnight I think you'd be fine. If in doubt you can always pack it in dry ice.

The bacon is kind of iffy, but well cooked and/or candied bacon is generally well preserved especially since it's usually chock full of nitrates and preservatives.

Fresh donuts really don't ship well, though. It's like french fries. They may still be wholesome and edible after a couple of hours but they're not exactly french fries any more.

Voodoo Donuts are really good, but I don't think they'll really be that great after being FedEx'd cross country.

On that note: Someone please send me a mission burrito and/or some in-and-out. I don't even care if it's packed in dry ice or not. My immune system can take it. I'd eat the heck out of it.
posted by loquacious at 7:44 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Heh. Again, my buddy spontaneously offered me this in exchange for the odd snacks that I find around New York and elsewhere and sahare with my co-workers, and like I said, he's a smart kid, so he's probably asking himself these same questions.
posted by jonmc at 7:48 PM on July 13, 2012

I think this is problematic, because it will be flying, and donuts really don't like pressure changes (neither do croissants, which is the only thing I've done this with personally.)

I mean, it'll be safe to eat. But I don't know how pretty (or large) it'll be by the time you get it. Does Jake live near you? Perhaps he can take the donuts with him on the plane, in the passenger section.

Also, loquacious, I know lots of people who get friends/family visiting Las Vegas to bring back In-N-Out when they come home. Some of those people are in my family, and they say it's worked OK for Vegas-to-Ohio; if you're within a six to eight hour flight range I bet someone you know can be convinced. Alternatively, if any of your friends are at Comic-Con this weekend, the closest location to the convention center is I think the one on Sports Arena Blvd.
posted by SMPA at 7:59 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Does Jake live near you? Perhaps he can take the donuts with him on the plane, in the passenger section.

Jake lives in Brooklyn, I live in Queens. Not far at all. It was his idea to mail it.
posted by jonmc at 8:05 PM on July 13, 2012

Dude, you've had a deep-fried Mars bar. A little cosmic radiation on a donut ain't nothin'.
posted by notsnot at 8:05 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone who used to eat two-day-old McDonald's burgers and Domino's pizza (and where I was, we paid to get them), I'd guess you'd survive eating this, but yeah, they'll lose some of their awesomeness.

Just for the heck of it though, I like Wordwoman's idea of getting the plain bars and adding your own bacon afterwards.
posted by easily confused at 8:22 PM on July 13, 2012

If you're worried about bacteria, throw it in the microwave.

The steam generated will soften the bar such that it'll remove the effects of staleness, the sugar will cook any bacteria to death, and the bacon will crisp up a little. You can overdo this easily and burn all of the above, and even if done perfectly you'll need to let it cool for a few minutes before eating. But that's what I would do.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:24 PM on July 13, 2012

the cheap 711 maple bacon donut I had was disapointing - you couldn't taste the bacon.
posted by jb at 8:57 PM on July 13, 2012

Yeah, not worth it. Go to Doughnut Plant, take home, add your own bacon. Ask him to mail you some Rogue gin or Stumptown coffee beans instead.

I enjoyed some Voodoo doughnuts on vacation just recently, but I now have it on good authority (friend's sister works there) that their ingredients and doughnut recipes are the same as every other doughnut shop everywhere uses -- it's just what they put on top of their doughnuts that's exciting. Whereas something like Stumptown coffee is genuinely very damn good and will survive either the mail or a plane trip with no fuss.
posted by clavicle at 9:21 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

A microwave would just melt that puppy.

Get him to send you a maple bar, add your own bacon. It's pretty high quality, thick-cut, and cooked until crispy.

(And even though it pains me to say it, clavicle is right: there's really nothing special about the doughnuts, just interesting/unusual toppings.)
posted by Specklet at 9:27 PM on July 13, 2012

My vote is that it will be safe, but not worth it. I feel like they do something extra drying to the bacon so that it holds up to sitting in a donut shop all day. However, Voodoo Donuts are good because of the environment you buy and eat them in, not because they're artisan donuts. Or at least if you're going to get him to mail something, go for some flavor combination or donut styling that would be more difficult to create at home. Maybe the "Texas Challenge" donut (as it's now named)?

Maybe you could ask for one of a billion types of local coffee, tillamook cheese (would that be safe to eat?) or moonstruck chocolate?
posted by Secretariat at 10:15 PM on July 13, 2012

Here's the thing: The Voodoo Doughnuts bacon maple bars are fucking awesome. I've stood in line for an hour just to get one - and they aren't even the best donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts. Not by a long shot, actually. (The Memphis Mafia is their best donut. Shut up - yes, it is.)

That said - don't do it. Here's why: The Voodoo Doughnuts bacon maple bars are fucking awesome. But at best, you're going to wind up eating a stale, petrified leftover that you're going to stress over, and you're likely to be pretty underwhelmed.

At best.

Once you remove freshness from the equation, there is nothing about a Voodoo Doughnuts bacon maple bar that would be superior to your favorite FRESH local maple bar covered with two strips of your favorite FRESHLY COOKED bacon. It's just a really good, fresh maple bar, with bacon on it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:12 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Whilst I think its a bit pointless as day old donuts are pretty bad. dry, cakey, terrible. Even half day old donuts are pretty bad, if you MUST do it; I would ship in a box with an Icepack or two. This will keep the temperature down enough to be pretty safe.

It will still be dry and a bit stale but it will be ok to eat.
posted by mary8nne at 3:28 AM on July 14, 2012

Moonstruck specifically doesn't ship their chocolates during summer because they melt. Nothing like ending up with a box of what used to be fantastic chocolates in a puddle at the bottom.

I think, besides the food safety concerns, the same is likely to happen to your doughnuts. The topping will melt and run off (and get everywhere except actually on the doughnut). When it cools, it's likely to separate and become grainy rather than a smooth topping texture. The doughnut itself will also not do well with the heat and pressure changes, as other people have noted, and will probably also start to stale during that time. You won't end up with a doughnut that you want to eat.

Nthing that the best bet is to have him hand carry them, but maybe he suggested mail because he'll only be going to the shop at the beginning of his trip.
posted by anaelith at 6:04 AM on July 14, 2012

He'll have to fly the Gin home-- illegal to mail alcohol in the US. (Of course, it is legal to ship water samples, gin is more than half water.)
posted by Sunburnt at 7:29 PM on July 14, 2012

I say go for it. You'll wonder forever if you don't.

Comparable anecdote...

I once had a friend carry-onto a United Airlines flight a boxed meal of In-N-Out Burger double double with fries from San Francisco to Denver (pre-9/11, not sure if it would make it through TSA today). It was probably a 7-8 hour time frame from grill to mouth. I'm sure that violates every documented safe food handling procedure (room temperature beef + mayonnaise based sauce!) and was against all official 'recommendations'. It was very good (not the same as being there but still very very good) and perhaps the most memorable In-N-Out burger meal I've ever had.
posted by shew at 8:11 PM on July 14, 2012

It's not the doughnuts (they don't sell donuts), it's the ambiance. (Disclaimer: I got married at the old downtown location, which had tons of . . . well, I'll call it ambiance, anyway.)

Basically, at the end you will be eating it to say you've ate it, because it won't be that great. (Also, as mentioned up there, the memphis mafia is the doughnut to get from them.)
posted by Nabubrush at 6:08 PM on July 16, 2012

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