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The Tour de Donut: Wild Card

October 10, 2018

It’s fall dammit. I don’t care if it’s going to hit eighty degrees today. We’re already over a week into October. The leaves are starting to change color a bit. I’m thinking about raking. And that means it’s time to head out to our local orchards and go donut picking. Or apple picking, if that’s more your scene. But who can say no to apple cider donuts in October?

Once again, I’ve got your chance to eat an immoderate quantity of cider donuts in one day. And you can tell your friends and loved ones that it isn’t gluttony when you are doing it for science.

That’s right. It’s another Tour de Donut. Except this one is a little different.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you the short version. Periodically, I lead a group of intrepid eaters around the region to eat and evaluate some of the most beloved foodstuffs of the area. These things both have an inextricable sense of place and would also diminish in transit. So we cannot bring these delicacies to us. We must go to them.

At the end of the day, not only do all the participants have a better understanding of the item in question and the nuances of its component pieces, but they have also decided upon their favorite version. Whereas most people’s favorites stem from childhood memories or geographic proximity, those on the tour form their opinion based on empirical data.

If you haven’t been on a FLB tour before, you should come. Seriously, this is open to anyone. Don’t be shy. For those brave souls who venture forth, this is what awaits.

Over the years, the Tour de Donut has visited thirty five different places in pursuit of the very best donut. Last year, we did a tournament of champions to find the best orchard to go against Cider Belly in the grand finals. Terrace Mountain was that orchard.

But a grand final of just two donuts didn’t seem as interesting as adding a third wild card into the mix. And as it turned out, we missed a stellar local cider donut that was hidden in plain sight at Lansing Farm. Plus, there were a few promising donut places where we didn’t get a representative donut on our one visit.

Now that nominations are complete, on Saturday October 20, we have five places to visit. Here’s how the day will shake out.

The tour will commence at 10:30am. That means you can have a healthy breakfast before spending a few hours eating donuts. All attendees need to bring is a pen, and a four bucks a head to pay for the cider donuts. I’ll collect the money at the start of the tour and hand you an official scoresheet.

At each stop, I’ll order the donuts, and ask politely if we can have hot donuts. While we won’t be hiding what we’re doing, we also will not disclose that we’re there for a judging. We need to make sure we’re getting the same donuts that anyone else would get. Sugared is the order of the day. Sometimes sugar comes with cinnamon. But if there is a choice of one with plain sugar and one with cinnamon sugar, the plain sugar donut is the judged variety.

Everyone will meet outside Boehm Farm in Climax. Yeah. Somehow this farm was another local gem that somehow was off everyone’s radar. I only found out about it from a thread on Reddit. But we have to go.

Stop number two is a straight shot up 87. It may not be the prettiest drive, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. Thanks to Ryan H’s nomination, we’re going back to Schuyler Bakery in Watervliet. He’s convinced we did not get representative samples of the bakery’s excellent donuts on our first visit, and I believe him. After all, this tour is about second chances and redemption.

Then it’s off to Lansing Farm. Here, we will try to redeem ourselves as it’s a crime that this local gem hasn’t been part of a cider donut tour before. I’ve tried a few of their donuts in the past year, and they have been excellent. However, how will they hold up in a cross comparison with other worthy competitors? We’ll have to see.

Our fourth stop is at Lindsey’s Country Store in Clifton Park. This was a strong contender on The 4th Annual Tour de Donut back in 2013, but something seemed to have been wrong with the donut machine. Hopefully this has been fixed by now.

The tour will end at Saratoga Apple. Now I know that Burnt My Fingers finds this spot to be overrated, however it keeps on coming up in conversations with people who place it at the top of their cider donut hierarchy. However, on the Tour de Donut when we visited the farm last, the oil had recently turned rancid. It wasn’t very rancid. But it had a slight off taste that cost them the competition. Anyhow, I have a deep need to try these donuts again. So we’re going.

It’s a lot of donuts, to be sure. This is not for the weak of heart.

It’s also a lot of driving, but we’ve seen worse. The whole route clocks in at under two hours. The drive itself may be a bit less charming, with more of our time spent on the highway than on back roads. But so be it. My goal is to be completed with this event by 2pm. But no promises. It could run long depending on parking, crowds, or traffic. If you have to leave early, I understand. Just know that for score sheets to be included in the official results, they must be completed in their entirety.

Here is the map of the route. What comes next is the easy part.

All I ask is that you let me know if you are coming—so that I know how many score sheets to bring—and that you show up on time. You can come by yourself or with a group. You can come if you are young or old. You can come if you’re an apple cider donut virgin or if you have cider running through your veins. I just need a headcount.

Some of the FLB tours are limited in their capacity. This one, the one that started them all, is gloriously easy to execute for a posse large or small. If they weren’t fun, I would stop organizing them. But it’s always a pleasure to spend time with fellow food lovers to learn more about our regional delights.

It all begins 10:30am on Saturday October 20 at Boehm Farm in Climax. So who’s going to be there?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2018 1:21 pm

    I will be out of town, alas, but hope to get good news about Saratoga Apple. 9 Miles East Pizza has been running pop up dinners there (not pizza) so you might consider hanging around after the tour. Go to the Saratoga Apple corn maze or tour the battlefield to fill in the time.

  2. October 10, 2018 2:49 pm

    My husband and I are in! We don’t live in the area anymore, but still like donuts enough to make a day of it

  3. Matthew Burnham permalink
    October 10, 2018 2:52 pm

    Count me and a guest in. Looking forward to it.

    -matt b.

  4. Ryan H permalink
    October 10, 2018 11:25 pm

    Uh oh. So if Schuyler misses the mark again, we know who to blame! You can count in me and Caitlin.

  5. Eric Taub permalink
    October 16, 2018 10:44 am

    I’ll be there.

  6. Eric Scheirer Stott permalink
    October 18, 2018 6:42 pm

    I’ll be there, health allowing

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