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09/19/2013

Traveling through time in El Salvador

MisterDonutSometimes visiting Central America feels like traveling through time. Here’s an example: In San Salvador, where I am currently, Mister Donut shops are everywhere.

Anyone of a certain age in the U.S. or Canada can certainly remember the Mister Donut chain. It was the biggest competitor to Dunkin’ Donuts, and had more than 550 stores across the continent.

In 1990, the chain was acquired by the parent of Dunkin’ Donuts and virtually disappeared in North America. But it stayed alive in Asia and Central America.

While the logo for Mister Donut is the same as always – a one-eyed chef with a toque -- the Salvadoran shops are bigger than their American counterparts once were and offer Salvadoran specialties, such as stuffed pupusa patties.

Another thing about Mister Donut here: In September, the chain seems to always offer two-for-one doughnuts so all the stores have long lines, so long that it discouraged me from buying a cup of coffee yesterday for an academic whom I met there and was interviewing.

In any case, Salvadorans just can’t seem to get enough doughnuts.

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traveleam

Good post. We've posted a similar El Salvador profile here: http://traveleam.ca/el-salvador-vacations-to-el-salvador-from-canada

ypochris

Twenty years isn't much of a time travel. I can think of so many places in Central America where it seems you've REALLY gone back in time; a Mister Donut isn't even worth mentioning, let alone worthy of a post with such a title.

Tim J

I'm not big on donuts. I had enough in my childhood. Besides, I didn't want to stand in line. I'm still in El Salvador, by the way.

hana

And what? You didn't bring any back???

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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