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Going Donut Picking Again

September 6, 2011

Just a couple weeks ago, a reader came up to me in a bar and suggested that I ought to bring people around to some local apple orchards and evaluate their cider donuts. No joke. And up until that very moment I thought I had been doing a pretty good job with this blogging thing.

Apparently when you write a post a day, some of the older pieces get lost. What I need is a librarian, archivist, or some kind of information architect. Any volunteers?

Anyhow, it’s amusing, because despite all my daily rantings full of piss and vinegar, some have said that I’ve become known for my tours. Which, mind you, I’ve only done four times. The first of which was last fall, and it was the Tour de Donut, where we tasted five cider donuts from some of the region’s most beloved orchards.

Except we had to cut a lot of orchards out, and at the time I knew we would need to do multiple rounds to cover the best cider donuts of the Capital Region. This year is Round Two. And this time we are heading east of the Hudson. Also this year, if you plan to come, there will be a pre-requisite homework assignment.

Nominations start today. I also want to share the most likely date and time.

Now get out your calendars and write this down. Saturday, October 1. This is the working date for the excursion. It’s a bit later than I would like. The original plan was to conduct the tour before the seething mass of humanity descended upon regional orchards for this annual rite.

Part of the idea was that the findings of the tour could inform locals and tourists where to find the best versions of these donuts. The other was purely selfish in that I hate standing in lines.

But given the realities of my September, and the additional requirement of the homework assignment, I think the first day of October is just this side of acceptable. We’ll be commencing the tour as early as possible that day. Last year it was nine o’clock in the morning. Confirmation of dates and times will be forthcoming.

So what’s this homework?

Well, I’m glad you asked. If you would like to participate this year, I would like you to have recently sampled a cider donut from last year’s winning orchard. That would be Indian Ladder Farms. The tour evaluates the donuts that are dusted with granulated sugar, and this is the one you should eat.

It’s for context. There will be a question about the homework on the scoresheet, and you will need to answer on the honor system. You can still participate in the tour without doing the homework, and your scores will still count, but they will be marked accordingly.

At most we can evaluate five different donuts. I have four top places on my list with a few under consideration for the fifth spot. A lot depends on the geographic footprint and opening times on Saturday morning. But a lot also depends on your nominations. Perhaps there is some stunning example of the cider donut east of the Hudson that I’m omitting.

And for those who might suggest I am lacking in regional pride, we’ll be sticking to the New York side of the border.

As of today, these are the top contenders:
1) Goolds
2) Golden Harvest
3) Samascott
4) Love Apple Farm

I also realize that Liberty Ridge is east of the Hudson, but it’s awfully far north and far afield from the rest of the pack. Also Best Berry Farm is a potential fifth orchard, but as I’ve never been I need to confirm the presence of donuts there. Frankly, I need to confirm with all of these orchards that they are open for business as usual after Irene’s visit to the region.

So tell me, did I leave anything out? Is there someplace else where we absolutely must try their donuts? You tell me by midnight on Sunday and by the end of next week I’ll have nailed down the details.

Then you and me, we’re going to pick some donuts.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 11:01 am

    The Farm at Kristy’s Barn sells Cider Donuts, but they are not made fresh like they are at Goold’s. However, as it is all of a 10 minute drive from Goolds, it might be worth a stop on the way out of the area.

  2. September 6, 2011 11:42 am

    Riverview and Bowman’s.
    http://www.rivervieworchards.com/
    http://www.bowmanorchards.com/

    I prefer Riverview’s donuts, and they have the donut making area behind glass so you can see them being made. When they’re not crazy busy you can even request a dozen hot off the line.

  3. September 6, 2011 5:58 pm

    Oooh I am excited. :)

    • September 8, 2011 7:19 am

      For the record, my all-time favorite donuts are at Hicks Orchard in Granville, but that’s REALLY a hike from here.

  4. September 7, 2011 4:31 pm

    I’m all for Riverview (still haven’t managed to get there yet), but I think they’re on the wrong side of the river for this tour.

  5. Chico permalink
    September 8, 2011 5:01 am

    Daniel,
    I must say, I partial to Golden Harvest, living just down the road from them. Their pies and cider donuts are fantastic! Another gem they serve, for like ninety-five cents, they make fresh KILLER apple turnovers everyday, Yum Yum!!!

    A suggestion, make this stop one of the last ones of the day, hopefully by then Derek and Darren have their Harvest Spirits Distillery open for tasting, where for a small fee you can sample there Core Vodka and Apple & Pear brandy’s they produce. You will not go wrong here, these brothers know what they’re doing, and two of the nicest guys you’ll ever want to meet.

    Not sure if I can do the complete tour that day, but If I know what time you’ll be at Golden Harvest, I’ll stop over to have a “taste” with you all. Chico (the Cuban)

  6. September 8, 2011 4:02 pm

    Golden Harvest, seconded. Love Apple Farm, as well.

  7. September 8, 2011 5:14 pm

    it’s not a farm, but Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe makes cider donuts on Friday’s and Saturdays only in September and October.

  8. September 22, 2011 10:37 am

    How long do you anticipate the Tour to last?

    • September 23, 2011 12:14 am

      It’s hard to say, since I haven’t drawn the map and calculated driving times. Last year’s took surprisingly long, considering it was just five donuts, but there was a lot of driving. Hopefully this year should cut down on that a good bit.

      If you are in a hurry, you can always scoot ahead and get me your score sheet when you are done.

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