CHICAGO -- "Fries In Your Frosty," "Loaded Baked Potado-Nut," and "Lemon Pepper Poppy Seed" are just a few of the flavors you can order at Tuber's Donuts, a Chicago business specializing in donuts made from potatoes.
"Sometimes the goal is just to challenge people," said Cam Waron, the creator of Tuber's Donuts.
Waron landed on the concept of using potatoes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when wheat flour was in short supply.
"I grew up loving yeasted ones and until I started making these, I was still [saying], 'yeast donuts are king.' Now I've become a believer and I think that's the potato in full gear,' Waron said.
Tuber's Donuts resides inside TriBecca's Sandwich Shop in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood. TriBecca's owner and Waron's wife, Becca Grothe, said the donuts are sweet treats that pair very well with her Midwest and central Illinois-inspired sandwiches.
"They're very crispy, airy and full of delicious flavor and texture," Grothe said. "You wouldn't actually think that the Tuber's Donuts would be so light since they're fried in clarified butter."
"[They're] Kind of like, if someone took all of the inside of a muffin but got all of the outside crispy," Waron said.
Potato donuts have a history spanning decades. They were popularized in the 1940s in the U.S. through the Spudnut Shops franchise which had locations nationwide.
In light of the pandemic, Waron said he believes he's on the right track bringing that history to Chicago.
"It used to be huge," Waron said. "You don't see potato donuts much anymore."