Many of you know that I just returned home from a two-week road trip through the southern part of the United States. We headed east from Texas and went through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina. We then turned around and headed back to the Lone Star State through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. As we traveled, I thought about how I would share this trip with y’all. Will my first post be about our first day? Rather than go day-by-day, do I share things in categories, like “museums”, “hiking”, “food”, “roadside attractions”, “historical landmarks”…? I’ve decided to go where the spirit leads, and well, I’ve been thinking about DOUGHNUTS for days. So I guess that’s where I’ll start!
My relationship with doughnuts has been a well-worn road. My hometown did not have a bakery. Or at least one with doughnuts, so my dad would drive 20 minutes up the road to buy a box and have them home in time for us to wake up to on any given Saturday. I always liked the jelly or cream-filled varieties as a kid, but grew to love cake doughnuts when I got older. When mom was in a good mood and we could talk her into buying a box at the store, we always liked the buttermilk flavor by Entenmann’s (is that company even around anymore???)
In my early 20’s, those fried rings were the way I started any Saturday that entailed garage sales. Blueberry goodness and a black cup of coffee always put me on the good foot for deals. It just so happened that the doughnut-ery was a few blocks from my house, and alas, convenience has always scored major points for me. Then I started frequenting the Sunday swap meet; again, doughnuts and coffee. But then, amidst overpriced records and vintage clothes, I became acquainted with a small man and his steaming, rolling cart. He had Doughnuts’ slender cousin, Churro. My affection quickly grew for the ridged treat dusted in cinnamon and sugar. So, my garage sale go-to became blueberry cake while churros won my heart when walking bleary-eyed through the dusty rows of the drive-in.
Then I moved, started eating really healthy and kind of forgot about doughnuts. Years later, I moved again, to Texas, and we started frequenting garage sales again. I wanted a doughnut to go with my coffee. Unfortunately, I was deeply saddened by the flavorless offerings of a local chain and haven’t messed much with them since. UNTIL THIS RECENT ROAD TRIP.
My sister has become quite a doughnut-head over these last few years. When she said she wanted to take us for doughnuts, I played along. I will almost always go for the salty snack over the sugary one, but if Ashley says it’s good, I need to trust. Holy cow-I’m so glad I trusted!
Let me introduce you to a place called “Hole,” in Asheville, North Carolina.
It’s a funky, small space with an open kitchen and friendly vibe. Four flavors are offered on any given day: Vanilla glazed, cocoa rubbed, toasted almond sesame cinnamon and the flavor of the week.
Here’s what they tell their customers:
“We are a small doughnut shop focusing on making the best doughnuts we know how to make! We use one dough and change up our toppings by the week. Our dough takes 24 hours from start to finish and is all made by hand (other than an initial 2 minutes in the Hobart mixer). We use a non-sour pre ferment, cage free eggs, stone ground organic flour from Lindley Mills, unrefined cane sugar, sea salt, organic whole milk, and whole butter to make our doughnuts. We strive to serve them hot to you! We fry all of our doughnuts in rice bran oil. Our milk and chocolate milk by the glass come from Farm to Home Milk. It is non-homogenized and 100% grass fed milk. Our orange juice is 100 % juice with pulp. Our coffee comes from PennyCup Coffee less than a mile away. Our prices reflect our local ingredient choices and commitment to pay above living wage to our wonderful employees.”
Ashley and I both had the toasted almond sesame cinnamon flavor. You guys-these are HAND-MADE and fried WHEN YOU ORDER IT! They come to you piping hot! I thought the price of $2.75 was a heck of a deal for something this special.
They are light and airy and are just the BEST doughnuts ever. I’m totally ruined. I’ll never be able to eat another doughnut again! Listen to some of the other special flavors they have offered in previous weeks:
key lime basil
Moroccan chocolate mint
Sorghum molasses bourbon
lemon-thyme cream cheese
chamomile honey & poppy seed
COME ON! This place is insane. If you’re in Asheville, check this place out. Click here to see their website or here for their Facebook page. Do you have a doughnut place like this in YOUR town? If so, let me know so I can come visit 😉