As I've said before, "Donuts can be such a hedonistic pleasure, especially when they are made by small, independent shops who truly care about crafting a tasty donut. The large chains cannot compete in quality and taste with these small shops." These independent shops often charge more for a donut than you'll pay at one of the large chains, but they are well worth the extra cost, for their freshness, higher quality, better ingredients, and craftsmanship.
Kane’s Donuts, which has been producing excellent donuts and baked goods for over 60 years. Check my prior post for more background information on Kane's. They have opened a location in Boston and will be opening another spot on Route 1 at Essex Landing. Yesterday, I visited their Saugus location, which has its own small parking lot as well as some on-street parking. There are tables outside, which are best when the weather is warm, and several tables inside.
Every month, they offer several special new flavors and I was invited, as a media guest, to check out their December specials as well as a couple of their regular donuts. Mid-morning, the shop was constantly busy, with new customers walking in the door on a regular basis. Their monthly specials will be available throughout the month of December at both of their locations, Saugus and Boston. And after my tasting, I highly recommend you drop by to check out these new donuts.
Farmer Willie’s Craft Ginger Beer. Back in 2008, Willie Fenichel, aka "Farmer Willie," who worked as a goat farmer, started home-brewing ginger beer in his Cape Cod kitchen. Eventually, he partnered up with two two Brown University students, Nico Enriquez and Max Easton, to sell the ginger beer commercially. In March 2017, they moved their brewing operations to the Isle Brewers Guild in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, so they could increase production.
Farmer Willie’s Craft Ginger Beer is made from cold-pressed ginger, cane sugar, fresh lemon juice, molasses, and nutmeg. Each batch requires about 1,000 pounds of fresh ginger. The ginger beer contains ¼ of the sugar of other ginger beers, is gluten free, and has an alcohol content of 4.5%. During the Fall and Winter, they also produce a special Extra Ginger Beer, which is made with twice the amount of ginger and there is also a bit of cayenne pepper added.
The Farmer Willie’s Ginger Beer Donut is cake-style gingerbread donut which is first dunked in a glaze made from the Extra Ginger Beer and then topped off with a honey glaze. (Please note that the donut is not alcoholic as the alcohol burns off during the cooking process.) The donut itself has a pleasing gingerbread flavor and texture, with a prominent ginger flavor from the glaze, which is nicely balanced with the sweet honey glaze. There are more subtle spice flavors in the donut with a whisper of heat from the cayenne. Enjoy this ginger beer donut with a glass of dark Rum and have your own unique version of a Dark n' Stormy cocktail.
Privateer Rum. Privateer Rum is a local distillery that produces some delicious Rums. For some background on Privateer, check out a couple of my previous articles: Privateer Rum: Silver Reserve to True American and Andrew Cabot of Privateer Rum: History, Cheese & Jazz. However, it's time that I returned to the distillery, to see the changes and developments since my prior visit, such as their hire of a new Head Distiller, Maggie Campbell, as well as their new Rums and other spirits.
“We take pride in staying true to our roots here in New England and supporting other local and like-minded companies, and always using local ingredients when possible,” said Paul Delios, co-owner and president of Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts. “The holidays are about family and traditions and so are we. That’s exactly why we are partnering with Farmer Willie’s and Privateer to create donuts that pass on the holiday spirit and flavors to families this season.”