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Sweet! Big blue doughnut new to Ford Field menu

Steve Pardo
The Detroit News
The Michigan Cider Mill Donut weighs four pounds and is nine inches across.

Detroit – If you’ve ever been to a Lions game and thought, “This is fun. But it would be better if I could get a doughnut the size of a helmet,” you’re about to get your wish.

On Thursday, during the Lions’ preseason opener at Ford Field against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Michigan Cider Mill Donut will be on sale.

It’s a 9-inch, cake-style confection stuffed with Michigan apple filling and costs $15. It’s topped with Honolulu Blue icing. (Which is probably the most unnatural color in the food world. Even blueberries aren’t really blue — they’re indigo. And a blueberry’s middle is gray.)

The new Ford Field offerings were unveiled Tuesday and they’re part of the trend toward more specialized fare that mirrors the growing Detroit-area restaurant landscape, said Joe Nader, the Lions’ executive chef.

“We have such a great thing going on with our food scene in Detroit,” Nader said. “I only think it’s appropriate we have that in the stadium as well.”

The new items will be available in the stadium’s 132 luxury suites, as well as five on-site restaurants and concession stands.

The huge doughnut has its own hashtag, #bigbluedonut. Nader knows the importance of social media and the food scene.

It has hints of cinnamon, cloves and allspice. It tastes similar to a spice cake you’d pick up at a grocery store but with some apple filling inside. Nader says it serves four, but serving size is a relative term. And he hopes some brave souls attempt to devour the item on their own.

“I’d like to see people taking on the challenge and hashtagging themselves taking out the whole thing,” Nader said.

The doughnut weighs 4 pounds — about as much as a Chihuahua.

The Detroit Lions Branded Burger is another new item this year. It’s a one-third-pound grilled hamburger with cheese and pickles branded with the Lions’ logo. The brands were special-ordered.

Nader says the brands will be locked up after each game to make sure each of the 10 stations at the stadium is able to add the iconic, signature mark.

The burgers are served with French fries. Both the burger and the fries are tasty and cost $12.

Two standouts this year are, not surprisingly, made in-house. (You can often tell when things are made fresh and to order.)

The Shock Top Brat ($7) has caramelized onions that were pliant and flavorful. The stadium’s culinary team grinds the pork at the site and adds the Shock Top Belgian White beer with the seasonings. The brat has a tangy, spicy kick in the end.

At $9, the house-made pretzel may seem a bit overpriced, even for a stadium. But like the brats, they’re made fresh at the stadium. They’re worlds apart from traditional stadium pretzels hanging and under a bright light. Get them if you’re looking to impress a date.

They come savory or sweet: the savory has a side of beer cheese or a dill honey mustard, and the sweet is cinnamon and sugar-encrusted and served with vanilla cream cheese.

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