Frying donuts in lard has a perverse feel. New England frugality meets trendy porcine popularity. The idea of frying in lard evokes days past, a kiss of nostalgia wrapped up in the idea of old fashioned flavor. Lard doesn't taste like canola oil. It lends a soft sweetness to the ingredients bathed in its goodness, adding a rich flavor that coats your lips, and makes the reality of eating fried food inescapable.
These donuts were crisp. Really crisp. The cakey interior was soft and sweet, tender and tasty. The donuts absorbed the flavors of the lard, giving the exterior a faint earthy sweetness that acted in counterpoint to the shattering crunch of the crust. At first bite the richness and flavor may give you pause. Someone said they weren't sure whether they liked the doughnuts or not, a common reaction. But one bite inevitably leads to another. The crunchy exterior seduces, while the sweet, soft crumb comforts your palate. After the third donut I was certainly converted and the empty bags would seem to indicate that everyone else was too.