A funny name for a funny donut…but these are really tasty!

Japanese donut chain Mister Donut, just like McDonald’s and Starbucks, is always coming out with new and delicious limited edition flavors. And of course, we can’t help but try every one of them…because what kind of responsible journalist doesn’t report on everything?!

Mister Donut’s newest menu items are a series of donuts are called Mugyutto Donuts. The word “Mugyutto” is an onomatopoeia for hugging a plushie or something similar tightly–much like you would hug this giant Pikachu plushie, for example. The donuts are, presumably, named for having the texture of such an object, and possibly the same level of adoration. To Japanese speakers, it gives off a very cute impression.

But that’s enough about linguistics! How do they taste? Our Japanese-language reporter K. Masami made sure to find out.

There are four kinds of Mugyutto Donuts: original (140 yen [US$1.30] for takeout), cheese (151 yen), raisin (151 yen), and cinnamon raisin (162 yen). Wearing her biggest smile, Masami stood at the counter, gestured to an entire row of donuts, and said, “All of these please!”, and marched off with all four in a bag, which felt surprisingly light.

▼ Original flavor

Based on the name of the donuts, she sort of expected them to be firm and dense, with a certain amount of heft to them, but she was puzzled to realize that she was quite wrong. She learned from slicing one with a knife that it was extremely “mugyutto”, which is to say, neither crispy nor super fluffy nor even dense. It didn’t really have a tough consistency, and it wasn’t particularly soft either. It was just…mugyutto.

▼ Cheese flavor

If you’re confused, honestly so was Masami. What she did know for sure was that it was rather hard to cut it with a knife. You have to really hold it tight and put some strength into it, or you’ll get nowhere.

By comparison, when Masami tried to cut one of Mister Donut’s popular Pon de Ring donuts or their French crueller, both of which she ordered alongside the new donuts, the knife cut through easily. It would seem that the Mugyutto Donuts are in a league of their own.

▼ Pon de Ring, for comparison

Well, time for the tasting! As it turns out, the donuts, when eaten, are chewy and fluffy. They were only mildly sweet, and Masami could taste the traces of the flour used. The chewy texture was very similar to the Pon de Rings.

▼ Cinnamon raisin flavor

As Masami sampled the other flavors, she realized that these donuts are actually a very pleasant, light snack, compared to other donuts. Even the cinnamon raisin, which she expected would be the most heavily flavored, was very lightly seasoned, had little lingering after taste, and was very easy to eat. Nothing about these donuts are overpowering; they’re actually quite refreshing. 

▼ Raisin flavor

According to the menu, the Mugyutto donuts actually have nearly 40 less calories than the Pon de Ring…so perhaps they’re also a healthier option?

▼ Crueller, for comparison

That being said, Masami had the impression that the Mugyutto Donuts are less like a donut than they are like a bread roll. In fact, that’s something the marketing for the donuts have been trying to push: “A donut that pretends to be bread, for your everyday life.” Apparently, they even make these donuts using the water roux method used to make Japanese bread loaves, so though they’re advertised as donuts, they’re more like bread in consistency, flavor, and even cooking style.

If you go in expecting a traditional donut, you might be disappointed by the Mugyutto Donuts, but Masami had to say that she really enjoyed eating their pleasantly light flavors and textures. In fact, she thinks they’d be a great addition to breakfast every day, unlike regular donuts, which she considers more of a special treat. If you’re a fan of delicious, fluffy bread, then you’ll definitely want to try them out!

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