Krispy Kreme is a chain of doughnut shops based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Despite their name, these southern pastries are neither crispy nor creamy, but rather are sweet, yeasty, and light. Although Krispy Kreme is maligned in some places for the high sugar and fat content of its doughnuts, in the company’s home state of North Carolina, Krispy Kreme means more than just sweet indulgence; it is a cultural icon.
The company’s signature neon HOT NOW sign flashes red when an Original Glazed doughnut slides out of the fryer and down a conveyor belt through a sugar-syrup bath, signaling that the doughnuts are ready for customers. Even just the phrase HOT NOW causes Krispy Kreme lovers to salivate. Yet the doughnuts need not be hot and fresh to be loved—a few seconds in the microwave returns them to their original, sublime state.