CMH Gourmand

Eat, Drink, Repeat: Culinary Discovery & Misadventure in Central Ohio

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Reflections on Donut Consumption: The Ohio Donut Trail So Far

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 3, 2011

This post is sponsored by the letter D. D is for Disappointment. In my younger days when I would run full speed to kick the football of success but found it pulled away at the last possible moment I did not recover so well (ref: Brown, C.). After disconnecting from the world for months on end, I would eventually find myself and my backpack somewhere in Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere roaming the backroads. What I eventually found in my travels is that there are some events I will never understand and very little of what may or may not happen on the big scale can be controlled.

D is for Distraction. I also found the best way to recharge myself and get back on the playing field is to find something to obsess about other than why what I wanted to happen did not. The first time my obsession led to action, I made a binder of mini-restaurant reviews called the Good Food Guide which I pushed onto friends, acquaintances and strangers. My next obsession was ice cream. I wrote my first “big” magazine article about the best ice cream stands places in our state for Ohio Magazine (May, 1998). Then I created a web site about ice cream so I could figure out how HTML worked – Ice Cream Ohio. You may have also read about a few Taco Trucks in Columbus. I blundered into directing my obsession into things I could learn about as a distraction and in return I was saved from roaming the world like an Ancient Mariner trying to figure the unfigurable. I still roam the world as often as I can but for different reasons (mostly to step back from my day to day life in order to find something or someone to inspire me to the next big thing).

D is for Donut. Reading this blog for the last few months you might get the impression that I love donuts. Such is not the case. However, I have found some donuts that I do love. Donald’s Donuts, Voodoo Donuts and Donut World each served as sites for major epiphanies on the repeated ass kicking 2010 gave me. Loosely connecting those dots and observing the power of the D-O-N-U-T on people, I decided that some additional research and discovery was needed. At this juncture, readers, we are at the midpoint of the donut chronicles as I plot out the Ohio Donut trail. My favorite donuts so far hail from Auddino’s, Bill’s and DK Diner.

In the process of donut discovery, I had a donut tasting party at Fortress Gourmand. Here are a few trends that were noted. Few donuts are good after more than a few hours out of the kitchen. The best donuts are still great up to a few days after purchase. Maple glaze seems to be an Ohio thing. Most of the best donuteries seem to offer the maple option. We had an Ohio maple donut challenge and the winner was Bill’s. We had the first Ohio Apple Fritter Throwdown. The results here were mixed. The most memorable comment concerned the DK Diner apple fritter – “Is that a loaf of bread?” It was not but it is clearly the mother of all apple fritters. DK Diner tied for first among fritters with Auddinos which was noted to be the most “applely.” We also decided that the best donuts have a bit of crunch on the outside and a lot of fresh and chewy on the inside (Auddino’s, Bill’s and DK Diner as exhibits A, B and D).

A donut tasting might sound decadent, because it is, but it is more fun than people should be allowed to have. There will be another donutpolooza. There may also be a March Maddness of Donuts where my donut detectives and I will pit the best against the best to determine the finest donut in Columbus and Ohio.

There seem to be a lot of special memories connected with donuts as well as special connections to people and place. College and donuts seem to pair well. Late night dining and early morning road trips line up nicely with these doughy treats. There is always a certain camaraderie connected to donuts. Maybe because donut counters are the great equalizer of the masses just like diners are. Maybe it is because the lowly donut is cheap and fast and easy to share. There is a reason boxes of donuts pop up at any office. A box of donuts offers diversity and democracy to everyone – grab a donut and pass the box on. There seem to be a lot of reasons that donuts do us right.

The D word…… The final question to think about. Is it Donut or Doughnut?

8 Responses to “Reflections on Donut Consumption: The Ohio Donut Trail So Far”

  1. After reading your latest donut post, I remembered another donut shop, now long gone. Has anyone ever told you about or reminisced about the donuts at the old Tuller’s Fruit Farm on Sawmill Road? Back in the day (pre 1980 the Tuller family owned all the land north of OSU’s Don Scott Field on the east side of Sawmill Road. There was a great farm with apple picking, pumpkin patch, hay rides and bonfires. They also had a little retail shop that sold fresh pressed apple cider, baskets of apples and fresh made donuts. There was a viewing area where you could watch them make the donuts – cutting out the dough, dropping them from a conveyor belt into the boiling grease, coming out the other end and getting sugared or iced. You might ask around with your donut compatriots and see if anyone remembers it. The donuts from Tuller’s were VERY good, especially on a crisp fall morning after a short drive in the country, which is what Sawmill Road between Case Road and 161 used to be.

    • William Schlitz said

      I loved that place. I went to UAHS where I graduated in ’83. There was a group of us – we called ourselves “The Breakfast Club” (before the movie) who piled into my ’78 Ford Station wagon and went there every Friday for an early breakfast. Still remember them as the best donuts I ever had. The apple fritters just killed.

    • julie caughenbaugh said

      The best doughnuts i have ever had ,by far!What a wonderful place Tullers was! Even if we were a little hung over from the night before ,we would never miss getting up and hitting Tullers, standing in line ,watching them make our doughnuts! I know it is hard for people to believe ,but where all that retail is on sawmill was just cows grazing in pastures ,then! We lived in Linworth in the gray “half house”.

    • megan said

      YES! I am JUST about to post something on LocalHarvest.org’s Facebook page about Tuller’s. Remember going there as a kid to pick pumpkins and eat donuts! 🙂

  2. Twixlen said

    Now I have DonutGlow.

    (Disclaimer: Ms. Twixlen is on the Ohio Donut Tasting Team).

  3. Alyssa said

    Maryann’s Donuts in (North)Canton. They have peanut butter donuts! You must try them!

  4. holly said

    if you ever happen to be down in the cincinnati area and travel to the city of Fairfield, you have to head to “the donut spot”. they have a cheesecake doughnut that is to die for🙂

  5. Laura said

    My first paid job (other than babysitting) was manning the cider bar at Tuller’s. I then promoted to donut shop and spent many early Saturday mornings (we started at 4 a.m.) filling and icing the donuts. By the time I went home at noon I looked, smelled, and felt like a donut.
    To this day, no donut compares. I will eat a glazed donut once in a blue moon, but it has to be piping hot. And it still can’t compare. Don’t get me started on the apple fritters.

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