By John Dodge

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — An email came over the transom: The doughnut savants at Glazed and Infused announced their fall menu on Tuesday, the first full day of the autumnal equinox.

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This, of course, is a cause for great celebration! There is the Caramel Pumpkin Pecan, White Chocolate Cranberry and Seedling Apple Cider, and the savory Ham and Cheese.

Wait, what?!

I suddenly began to ponder whether a doughnut classified as “savory” is actually a doughnut.

Kale in doughnuts, ham and cheese in a doughnut, the buffalo crunch doughnut (not actual buffalo, but a spicy doughnut, like Buffalo wings.)

I don’t have the answer.

However, Robb MacKie, the president and CEO of the American Bakers Association, does.

The Food and Drug Administration does have what are called standards of identity for food products, including doughnuts. However, the rules do not cover flavorings, MacKie said.

Essentially that means that as long as it bakes like a doughnut, looks like a doughnut, but may not taste like a traditional doughnut … it’s a doughnut.

MacKie said the savory doughnut trend is just starting to take off.

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“It’s kind of all new and different,” he said. “There is a lot of experimenting going on. We have some very creative, innovative bakers who are trying new flavors.”

Flavors like Glazed and Infused’s Ham and Cheddar: An herb yeast ring accented with Beeler’s Ham, roasted garlic, locally sourced cheddar and honey mustard glaze.

Previously, a doughnut with bacon was all the rage, but that typically involved putting bacon on top of a sweet doughnut, perhaps with a maple-flavored glaze.

And, as we all know, people put bacon in everything.

MacKie said Asian-flavored doughnuts, perhaps with ginger and even wasabi, could be the next hot trend.

Right now, in the baking industry, the market for doughnuts is very strong.

“We aren’t like Microsoft or Apple,” MacKie said, “but we are seeing four to five percent growth” in the past 18 months.

The the baking industry, that signals a significant trend.

Doughnuts, MacKie said, are popular because they can be customized with a variety of flavors, are quick and easy to consume, and people may not necessarily feel guilty about eating just one.

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Now, if we can only settle the debate: doughnut vs. donut.