The apple fritters at The Fritter Co. in St. Jacobs Market are popular. I’ve been hearing about them for years, so when I recently found myself in St. Jacobs, checking them out was a must.
The first challenge: actually finding the place in the surprisingly massive St. Jacobs Market compound, which encompasses several enormous buildings and a seemingly endless outdoor market. I’m not sure where the largest farmers’ market in the world is, but I have to imagine this one is in the top 10.
The second challenge: mustering up the patience to stand in the gigantic, slow-moving line, which wound up taking about half an hour.
Maybe after all of that, no fritter could have lived up to my sky-high expectations, but the apple fritter here was… not very good? This place is universally beloved, and sorry everybody, but I don’t get it.
The fritter is interesting, I’ll give it that — each one features a full apple ring that’s the approximate thickness of a finger. And I did enjoy the contrast between the very tart apple slice and the sweetness of the sugary exterior. But the crisp apple slice also seems to impact the pastry itself, which was slightly undercooked around the middle in both of the fritters I tried.
Otherwise, the very pancake-like pastry was fine, I guess? And the whole thing was certainly not unpleasant to eat (the fact that they serve them piping hot from the fryer helps), but was it worth the epic half hour line-up? Absolutely not. If you’re coming from Toronto, save yourself the time and just go to San Remo or Dipped Donuts. You’re welcome.
Is there anything more beautiful than a big box full of doughnuts? I submit that there is not. Can I eat an amazing sunset? Is a great piece of art glazed with sugar? Are any of the wonders of the world filled with chocolate or jam? No? Well then they’re all inferior to a box of doughnuts. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
I brought this box to a friend’s house (back when seeing friends was still a thing) and, between the four of us, we managed to try every single one, so suffice it to say I was all doughnuted out by the time we were done. But in the best way.
I’m not going to bother to go through it doughnut by doughnut, mostly because I don’t feel like it but also because there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. They were all very tasty, so it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with whatever you pick at Daddy O Doughnuts.
I will say that a couple of these were cake doughnuts and the rest were classic raised doughnuts, and I was surprised to discover that I preferred the former. The raised doughnuts were very good too, but they were a little bit dense and didn’t quite have the personality that you’ll find in the best of the best. Still, the flavours were all so delicious that it’s hard to complain too much.
The Greek doughnuts (a.k.a. loukoumades) they serve at Lukumum are intensely sweet. They’re also extremely delicious.
I tried loukoumades at Loukoumania Cafe in Vaughan last year; the ones at Lukumum are twice as sweet. Three times as sweet? They’re way sweeter.
I tried a couple of varieties. I went with the classic, which is soaked through with syrup and topped with honey and cinnamon, and the hazelnut, which is soaked with syrup and topped with Nutella and hazelnuts.
Both were delicious, though I preferred the classic. Despite being soaked through with syrup, the exterior remains pleasantly crunchy. The inside is completely suffused with syrup, but it’s not mushy. It’s great. The honey adds even more sweetness, and a nice floral note that goes very well with the cinnamon.
The Nutella variety is tasty as well — Nutella makes anything delicious — but the original is more unique.
I almost didn’t order the apple fritter at Dipped Donuts. Sanremo — an amazing Italian bakery in Etobicoke — sells an apple fritter that’s so delicious, getting one anywhere else feels like a waste of time. How can you top it?
Well, I’m not sure if Dipped Donuts quite tops it, but it’s pretty damn close. Their fritter is absolutely amazing.
It’s got the perfect balance of crispy, chewy, and fluffy. It’s sweet but not too sweet, with the rich glaze balancing perfectly with the cinnamony, apple-infused pastry.
It’s easily the best doughnut I’ve had from Dipped Donuts — and everything I’ve had from that particular shop has been extremely delicious. It’s ridiculously good.
Remember the Walnut Crunch from Tim Hortons? Because I certainly do. It was clearly the best doughnut they sold, but then they discontinued it and darkness descended upon the land.
It’s safe to say that since then, we all occasionally google “Walnut Crunch Tim Hortons” to see if there’s any talk of it coming back. I think we can all agree that this is a completely rational thing to do and not crazy at all.
It was during one of these searches that I discovered a place called Grandad’s Donuts in Hamilton — they sell their own version of the Walnut Crunch, just like Tim Hortons used to make. Obviously, I had to check it out.
It was glorious. It was exactly as I remembered at Tim Hortons — maybe a bit puffier, but otherwise pretty much exactly the same thing.
It’s sweet and cakey, with a thick sugary glaze, a mild chocolate flavour, and the occasional nutty crunch from the walnuts. I’ll admit that taken on its own merits — without a fairly liberal dose of Walnut Crunch nostalgia — it’s nothing particularly special. But then we’re all nostalgic for the Walnut Crunch, aren’t we?