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Tour de Donut

September 14, 2010

Despite my better judgment, it is on.

Nominations for the best cider donut have closed, and I have tallied up the results.  When all was said and done, there were ten local orchards that were nominated.  I am going to try and take on the Herculean task of visiting half of them in one day, and determine who makes the best apple cider donut.

You know, for those of us who think criteria can be created to measure such a thing.

And I’m taking you all with me.  Well, anyone who wants to come.  But you’ve got to buy your own donuts.  And provide your own transportation.  So really, I guess I’m not taking you anywhere.  But still, you are all invited.

Most of the details of this ridiculous plan follow.  All except for the date and time of course.  This is in part to help keep a tally of how many people are coming.  Those details will be sent via email for anyone who is interested in testing their physical stamina and psychological endurance.

Curious to see if your orchard made the cut?

Ultimately these orchards came down to the top vote getters within a reasonable geographic proximity.  While I really hoped to end the whole thing with a distillery visit, the two votes for Goold’s and the one vote for Golden Harvest weren’t enough to justify crossing the Hudson.  Even with Leah’s impressively lurid description of the Goold’s specimen.

I will have to remember to make a special stop at Goold’s next time I’m out to pick up a bottle of applejack.

Anyhow, Indian Ladder is the front-runner with five votes followed closely by Altamont Orchard with four.  A few orchards received three votes, but Bowman rose to the top among those based on the strength of the descriptions from Tell Me More, Tell Me More.

Perhaps I should have stopped at three.

But since we’ve got to cross the Mohawk anyway, there are two more cider donuts to try just a stone’s throw away: Lakeside Farms (one of the other three vote establishments) and Fo’Castle Farms that made phairhead scream about just how good they are.  I’m not accustomed to such displays of emotion around here.

It’s ambitious, but it’s not that ridiculous.  You can check out the route map here, with driving times and everything.

I like the tight little cluster.  All the tasting will be done west of the Northway.  Which does mean skipping out on Liberty Ridge Farm this time around.  But we will not have time for corn mazes with five different donuts to taste.

Speaking of tasting, let me tell you how this will work.

Anyone is welcome to come and participate in the formal evaluation.  But just because you come doesn’t mean you have to officially participate.  You can just eat for fun and enjoy some fussy little company.

Score sheets are in development and will be provided for those who want to go whole hog.  Please bring your own pen.  Scoring will not be anonymous, but you can use your online identity if you like.  You will need to review all five donuts for your votes to count.  For the final tabulation some categories will receive different weights, thus the official winning donut will not be revealed until the tasting wrap-up post is completed.

Just be aware, if you attend, your picture may be taken and it could end up someplace on the Internet.  I would think that goes without saying in this day and age, but it doesn’t hurt to put it in writing.

Participants are welcomed and encouraged to blog or tweet or facebook all about this at any point before, during or after the tour.  In the meantime, if you are interested in coming along, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll email you about the details of date and start time.  For your planning purposes, it is most likely to be a weekend morning.

I’m really looking forward to this, and think it will be a great three hours.  That’s my best estimate, from start to finish, but it could drag out a bit longer depending on crowds.  I have budgeting for 70 minutes of total driving time and 20 minutes at each location.  Now we’ll just see how many of you are crazy enough to join me.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Erinn P permalink
    September 14, 2010 10:30 am

    I think it sounds like a fun local adventure. I’m always up for an adventure that involves food! Count me in! (Assuming it’s a weekend that I’m free, of course…)

  2. September 14, 2010 10:48 am

    i am not into the cider donut, but would love to help document this very fun sounding adventure.

  3. StanfordSteph permalink
    September 14, 2010 11:02 am

    Awesome! Please include me on the list. I just hope it’s when I can attend in person.

  4. September 14, 2010 11:04 am

    I’m thinking it will take more than 20 minutes per location on a busy weekend morning, at Indian Ladder, anyway. That place gets really mobbed.

    I’m tempted to join in, despite not loving cider doughnuts – maybe this would be a way to discover what makes them so beloved. I do work some Saturdays, so it would depend on the date, but I guess count me in.

  5. Phairhead permalink
    September 14, 2010 11:52 am

    Count me in :D

  6. GingerSteinway permalink
    September 14, 2010 12:04 pm

    I agree with Erinn, I love a local adventure-especially one involving donuts. I hope I can make it!

  7. September 14, 2010 12:05 pm

    Lurid? Pshaw.

    I’m in, depending on days and dates, of course. Midweek would actually work better for us, believe it or not.

  8. September 14, 2010 12:05 pm

    Hells friggin yeah!

  9. September 14, 2010 12:17 pm

    Yay Donuts! I’d be interested, despite my pants that don’t fit anymore. My schedule is rather odd though, so it would depend on that (on the other hand, I live near IL and am usually out by Fo’Castle at least once a week–usually twice, so being near either isn’t a problem).

  10. Jenny on the Block permalink
    September 14, 2010 1:17 pm

    I do consider myself a devotee of the cider donut, so I would like to try and come along!

  11. Elyse permalink
    September 14, 2010 1:35 pm

    Sounds like fun! I am interested, though I am on maternity leave right now, which means that I have all the free time in the world and none at all. Baby likes outdoor-ish activities, though.

  12. September 14, 2010 7:21 pm

    Donuts? Driving?

    Sign me up.

  13. joni permalink
    September 15, 2010 12:17 am

    Sounds like fun for large and small fussers alike. SUNDAY morning please. We have soccer on Saturdays.

  14. Mirdreams permalink
    September 15, 2010 2:10 pm

    I’d also try to make it, let me know time and place, or we can use google calendar’s new find a time feature once you have a working email list to try and find a time that way.

  15. September 15, 2010 7:14 pm

    The last time I followed the Profussor’s advice about orchards, I wound up discovering Golden Harvest with a group of friends.

    So you can bet we’re in for this adventure, too.

  16. September 15, 2010 10:45 pm

    yes! this sounds like a fall-fun junkie’s dream come true! count me in. :-P

  17. Ellen Whitby permalink
    September 16, 2010 11:49 pm

    Liberty Ridge. LIBERTY RIDGE!!!!!

  18. September 17, 2010 6:03 pm

    Goold’s has wine…. Golden Harvest has Applejack. Just thought I would point that out.

  19. September 21, 2010 8:44 am

    I love tours de anything, and amazingly only recently (last year or so) discovered the cider donut, so I’m not tinged by any “hometown orchard” nostalgia. I’d love to join, if my new crazy work schedule will allow. Please let me know when the tour firms up. If I can’t do it I’ll probably just do the posted route solo :)

  20. September 21, 2010 9:38 pm

    Sounds like fun! I’d be tempted, but I’d have to know when it would be first.

  21. Jordan permalink
    September 25, 2010 10:49 pm

    Possibly, probably, maybe, depending on when. Being relatively new to the area, my ‘buds aren’t cider-donut-ified. They’d *all* be new to me.

    • September 25, 2010 11:39 pm

      Jordan: Welcome. Sorry to inform you that the Tour de Donut happened earlier today. I thought it went very well, and was pleased by the turnout. I’m going through the score sheets now, and will have the official results up in the next day or so.

      Thank you again, to everyone who came out today. I had a blast, and am already thinking about next year.


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