Soul searching for the ultimate donut.
Memory is a funny thing, I cannot remember what I had for dinner two days ago but there is one special memory that sticks out in my mind as if it were yesterday. The memory of a store that sold, what was for me, the Ultimate Donut.
I was living in Baltimore, MD about 50 years ago when I happened across a little bakery. The bakery was located in a strip mall on Reisterstown road just off of Belvedere road and this shop had, what I would nominate, the Ultimate Donut. The baker was from the old country and only used the finest and freshest ingredients. Of course things were different back then, without all the processed junk available today.
The plain donut had a texture to it that was both firm and delicate at the same time and melted in your mouth so I knew I had found my vision of heaven. The donut, unlike today’s common version did not have any air holes or greasy flavor, just a solid sweet tenderness utterly lacking in the products of today. The smell of the donut was fresh vanilla and spices with just that small touch of cinnamon that makes all donuts tastes so good.
But I have to tell you about my favorite donut. The chocolate covered donut. I have traveled far and wide and I have not ever found another chocolate covered donut that even came close to the ones I found way back then. Unlike the processed artificial stuff they call chocolate today, the chocolate that covered this delectable masterpiece was incredibly think and rich. It was so thick it had to actually be a whole inch worth of chocolate smothering the top of the donut all the way around. And the chocolate!! What a taste sensation! Imagine if you would, the best chocolate, made by the best Swiss chocolate makers and you may come close to what was covering the donut.
That is not all my friends, No, now I must tell you all about the jelly filled donuts the baker at this small unremarkable bakery offered to us mere mortals on a daily basis. Today, the jelly that fills our donuts comes from a factory somewhere and is made with preservatives and I honestly do not know what else, but back then the jelly was homemade with real fruit usually picked fresh and turned to jelly within just a few hours of being picked.
The jelly donuts that I used to get from this simple little shop were filled to overflowing with the sweet, fresh, just picked goodness of real homemade jelly. Just one bite and the jelly would pop out of the donut and flow all over your fingers, mustache, everything!Today’s jelly donuts have a bite or two of jelly and then you are left with a tasteless wad of greasy dough, but when biting into the Ultimate Jelly filled donut, the first bite flooded your mouth with the homemade sweetness of real fresh fruit. The dough that was used as a holding place for this wonderful taste of summer jelly was not greasy or tasteless either the way today’s donuts are. The cream filled donuts made by this bakery were made with fresh cool handmade whipped cream and the custards, which were the same filling used in their Boston cream pie melted on the tongue like the sweetest dream.
Although I have searched far and wide, I have never been able to find donuts to equal the memory I have of that little shop down on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore, MD. I just pray that when it comes time for me to make my way to heaven, I will look up and see on the corner, just past the pearly gates the little baker from the old country with his shop doors opened wide waiting to serve me The Ultimate Donut.