Here’s a story about how I accidentally ended a 15-year vegetarian streak* by eating a doughnut fried in pig lard. Ugh.
Somewhere on Monroe Road just over the Matthews city limit in a non-descript strip mall is a sassy little doughnut shop slinging unique fried creations across a repurposed mahogany bar. Your Mom’s Donuts is a rare farm-to-table bakeshop sourcing their dairy, eggs and (yep) lard from local North Carolina farms. (They even serve Pure Intentions Coffee, keeping their caffeine game in the Charlotte family.)
The point is: The early bird gets the doughnut. So don’t sit around like, “Oh I’ll get one later.” Because no. You won’t. You’ll get one now or you won’t get one. That’s kind of how it goes.
On the day my friend Jen and I went, they were serving:
Pastry cream-filled chocolate ganache (classic)
Apple pie-filled butterscotch glaze (need)
Peanut butter cup (staaaaaaahhhp)
Orange glazed with peanuts and chocolate (WHAT)
Strawberry glaze with almonds (fancy fresh)
Nutella cream-filled espresso glaze (HOW)
Vanilla glaze (not basic)
Chocolate ganache (never a bad choice)
Cinnamon sugar with cream cheese frosting (preach!)
I bought six. The doughnuts are $3-$3.50 each depending on range of fanciness or you can do 6 for $15 or 12 for $24. This is a moment where buying in bulk just makes good financial sense, you know?
Jen went straight into a pastry-filled chocolate ganache first and responded with, “I want to rub it all over my body” which sounded like a perfectly logical reaction to me.
And just as I was going to town on my cinnamon sugar with cream cheese frosting fried piece of heaven she was like, “Oh look! They use non-GMO local leaf lard from… Oh.”
I stopped to examine the sign she was reading. “Leaf lard… That’s probably plant-based right? Leaf? What is leaf lard? It’s from leaves I bet.” [Takes another bite.]
Jen finishes reading: “… from pasture-raised hogs.”
And that, my friends, is how I unwittingly lost my vegetarian badge over a doughnut. A VERY GOOD DOUGHNUT. I packed up the remaining goods and delivered them to my sister and her fiance who happen to love lard.
To be clear, that doughnut was good as hell but I’m not going to eat it again because now I know that it opposes my own personal food ethics. To be even clearer, that doesn’t mean that I think Your Mom’s food ethics are wrong and in fact I commend them on their farm-to-table efforts and think everyone should operate that way. If Your Mom thinks lard frying creates the best and truest version of their product, good on ‘em for sticking with it.
So round of applause for Your Mom. You should go and you should buy in bulk and you should send all your friends in because we need more businesses just like this. (And maybe if enough vegetarians chime in they’ll make us a few little batches in vegetable oil each week, pleeeeeease.)
In the minority like me and on the hunt for a killer local doughnut not fried in lard? My next stop is most definitely Joe’s Doughs, a veg-friendly pop-up doughnut shop hosted at The Daily Press every other week. See you there. With liberty and doughnuts for all.
*Full disclosure: I ate a fishstick once in college. That was the other time I lost my vegetarianism on accident but on purpose. I’m not proud.