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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tour de Donut


Donuts! Time to get your donuts! On Saturday, a group of us braved the cold and rain to find out who made the best apple cider donuts.

The tour started early. Eight-thirty early. Not an easy feat after an all-nighter. We ended up missing the first stop and headed straight for stop number two, Goold’s Orchard. Actually, I wanted to go to Zachary’s to get a donut and head over, but I hit the wrong address in the GPS.


Goold’s Orchard (Castleton, NY)

My first donut of the day, heck, the first thing I ate that day. While I liked the sugar on this donut, everything about it seemed pretty average. It reminded me of these donuts they used to give out for breakfast in grade school – I think they were called Grandma’s Old Fashioned Donuts. Very dense. We had to judge based on crust, which I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I took it as the “crunch factor” – and other than the sugar, this had none. No oil issues either. Just seemed like the donuts you can buy at the supermarket.


Golden Harvest Farms (Valatie, NY)

Best donuts of the day. So light, airy… if all I had to try were these, I would be completely satisfied. I’m not sure how long it had been out of the fryer, but these were good. Not oily, a good coating of sugar, and as you were biting into it the sugar and crust of the donut gave way for the nook and cranny filled center. The taste of the apple cider was a little hit or miss with each bite, but the overall quality of this donut could not be denied.

Zachary’s Pastry Show (Rensselaer, NY)

After finishing our Golden Harvest ACDs, Daniel B gave us one of his leftover donuts from Zachary’s to try. Albany Jane, Albany John, and her sister were in the same boat were in the same boat of joining the tour late. This donut looked good on the outside, but was all wrong on the inside. Whoever made this was very heavy handed with the nutmeg. If there was apple cider in this donut, you wouldn’t know because the nutmeg was having a diva episode. It was too soft, similar to those softee donuts from the supermarket.


Samascott Orchard (Kinderhook, NY)

I’m only going to talk briefly about this because it was all around awful. For starters, this donut fell apart as I took it out of the bag. Bad omen? As I was picking up the pieces, I could feel the oil starting to coat my fingers. The sugar is caked on there, which is wholly unappealing. It was brown on the inside, and looked somewhat whole wheat looking. Texture was mealy, not appealing at all. Tasted very oily and not good. I’m sure I’m the only one who was stuck with a bad donut – actually no, take that back. Some of that donut was fed to a chicken. Sorry chicken, oily donuts aren’t for me.


Love Apple Farms (Ghent, NY)

Last of the day. At this point I was tired of donuts, so I may not have scored it fairly. Good sugar coating, very mild cider flavor, the rest pretty average. If it was right out of the fryer, I may think differently.

And the winner is…


Golden Harvest. No contest. And judging the comments I’ve seen regarding their favorite place to get ACDs, I’m not the only one who’s fallen under the Golden Harvest spell.

So, if you’re trying to decide on what to do this weekend, why not check out one of orchards? The weather is supposed to be great! Get some apples, and maybe a couple sacks of donuts on the way out.

1 comment:

Daniel B. said...

Your feelings about Goolds, Golden Harvest, and Samascott are all in line with the other participants.

Zachary's did have its fans as did LoveApple. As I found out last year, some people prefer a softer exterior like the ones at Zachary's and a softer interior like the ones at LoveApple.

But I'm with you, Golden Harvest all the way.

I've liked their donuts for a long time, but I could never be sure if they were really that good, or if they just tasted better after enjoying a tasting at the farm's distillery.

Note: Full results from the day can be found here.

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