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Bismarck Key

December 14, 2015

Anyone remember Biz Markie? He’s hard to forget. Apparently Mr. Markie went on tour with Yo Gabba Gabba. But before that, he had this popular hit.

Besides his name, this musician has nothing to do with the donuts sometimes referred to as bismarcks. But I can’t think of one without the other. And I apologize if now you’ve forever got the two intertwined in your subconscious.

So, we’ve got this kind-of-famous off-the-beaten-path donut operation in the region that’s especially known for its bismarcks. And that is the King Bakery Donut Cart at Double K Farm. It’s all the way out Cambridge, NY, about an hour’s drive from Albany. While I’ve had my eyes on the place for some time, I’ve never made the excursion.

This is when it’s helpful to have friends.

I got the best note last week from my pal David. He was heading up to the cart on Sunday, and wanted to know if I wanted any donuts.

There is an easy answer to that question. Always.

From my read of public opinion on this donut operation, the thing to get were the bismarcks. Instead of having the filling piped in, they are sliced open and overstuffed. I guess in my imagination I saw these as being filled with some kind of pastry cream. But in reality the filling is more like creamed fat and sugar.

They reminded me a lot of the icing filled donuts I found outside of Trenton in New Jersey. Luckily I knew that Albany Jane loved that stuff, so I was able to call on her to help with those specimens. Having tried many more than my fair share of donuts in the past year and change, I’m pretty confident in my assessment of relative donut quality.

It’s not the bismarcks that are the key at King Bakery, it’s the glazed.

Holy cow! Those are exactly the glazed donuts of my dreams. The crumb is rich and moist. The shells get good lift, so they are both light and substantial at the same time. The only sweetness comes from the glaze, which is thickly applied and has a great sturdy crackle when bitten.

Of course, I didn’t try everything. But I can say that the chocolate iced are still better at The Cookie Factory. The boston cream are still better at Bella Napoli.

King’s fritters are strong contenders for that category. But I’m not a big fan of the generous portion of raisins baked into their version of the form. The cinnamon sugar twists were fine, as were the lemon filled.

At some point I’ll need to return to try the cake donuts and the jelly filled ones too. But I could easily see myself making a trip and pre-ordering a dozen glazed. Then, once there, I would picking out an assortment of another dozen based on what looked incredible.

However, to make that happen, I’ll need to find an available Sunday (which is harder to do than one might imagine). Or, I’ll need to employ a bit more advanced technology the next time a friend makes a trip up and kindly offers to bring me back some of these delicious regional specimens. But it’s probably impossible to use Facetime or Periscope at the donut cart without feeling like a jerk.

Anyhow, much like Donut Den, King’s makes fantastic donuts. But it also helps me to appreciate some of the goodness that we’ve got close to home, which often goes overlooked.

Seriously, get to The Cookie Factory. Get all their chocolate iced donuts, without sprinkles. You can also try a glazed, a jelly, and their boston cream since those are quite good as well. They just aren’t at the same level. Then get down to Bella Napoli and pick up some more boston cream, and maybe another strawberry jelly and a blueberry jelly for good measure. Oh heck, get a couple of the excellent Bella Napoli cake donuts too.

You may say, “Dude, that sounds like a lot of driving just for donuts.” And you would have a point. But there are people who make the drive up to Cambridge for this occasional treat. If they do that, you can at least go ten minutes out of your way to avoid supporting the evil empire of Dunkin’ Donuts. Because those are simply hideous.

Deal? Deal.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Debra permalink
    December 14, 2015 4:53 pm

    Daniel: Good running into you today at Cider Belly. The donuts you’re blogging about sound good, but that will have to wait until I’m up in the area ‘early’ on a Sunday morning. I will have to try Bella Napoli though, I love boston cream. Thanks for the info.

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