Post Secret: I still pine for Michigan in the fall.
No, these cider donuts are not even vaguely comparable to the freshly fried cider donuts at the Franklin Cider Mill in Franklin, Michigan, one of the most glorious places of my childhood (and dare I say all NW suburban Detroit childhoods for over a century?). Those cinnamon donuts, slicked with grease and perfuming the air all the way up to heaven, are a national treasure. But these Oregon ones are pretty good, and they are better than anything similar I’ve tasted anywhere. I give you two views of my Saturday purchase: one regular snapshot, and one via donut cam.
The cider is, well, still early. The light color means they’re using early-season apples, which aren’t nearly as sweet and tart and wonderful as the mid-season ones. The Franklin Cider Mill uses Honey Crisp apples. In Oregon, we use whatever we have. There is no real cider mill tradition here at all, but cider presses seem to pop up here and there in the fall, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself next to one at a festival or fair. I make trips up to Corvallis or out to Thistledown Farm in Junction City to buy apple cider that has been UV-treated instead of pasteurized (which kills the fresh, wild taste of apple cider in season). Beggars can’t be choosers. But they can shop wisely.