As soon as Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, Southerners begin their quest for all things pumpkin-spice. Not our family. We are from Virginia apple country, and we search for the perfect Apple Cider Donut. Ride along with us, through the Blue Ridge, as we sample traditional apple cider donuts.
Mamma Crockets Cider Donuts
We first saw the funky blue vintage travel trailer as we drove around “The Circle” in the town of Amherst, Virginia. In this historic town, everything revolves around this circle—literally. It is early in the morning, and we round the circle…and there it sits — the blue Mamma Crocket’s Cider Donut travel trailer. Although it is early, there is already a line forming. We quickly park and jump into line. Worth it! That day, Mamma Crockets becomes a family favorite.
Where is Mamma Crockets parked this week? You can follow these favorite donut makers here: www.MamaCrocketts.com
Pure Eats in Lexington, VA
We drove through the mountains and ended up in Lexington, VA. (RT 60) I had heard rumors about the donuts at Pure Eats and wanted to see for myself. Pure Eats did not disappoint. Expect to find a collection of hand-crafted doughnuts at this stop as their menu expands beyond cider donuts. In addition to the favorite cider donuts, you will see traditional flavors and some custom Pure Eats creations.
The day we stopped at Pure Eats, we sampled a cider donut with a hint of Bold Rock Hard Cider. Yum! But that’s not all…each day, Pure Eats makes four or five custom donut creations. Bakers come in early to ensure that the works-of-art are ready for fans. We left with a box of our favorites.
Follow along on the Pure Eats Facebook page. Browse in the morning and decide which donuts to put in your take-home box!
As a side note, we enjoyed some fantastic burgers for lunch. But that will be a future story. The food created in this renovated gas station is worth a second visit.
Find Pure Eats at http://www.pure-eats.com/
Blue Ridge Cider Doughnuts
From Lexington, we traveled to Staunton, VA to visit the town’s weekly Farm Market. We browsed the farm-to-market displays looking for Blue Ridge Cider Doughnuts. It’s a known fact that we love cider donuts, and a friend sent me a Facebook link to Blue Ridge Cider Doughnuts.
“We found the donuts!”
You will want to stroll the historic streets of Staunton while snacking on a Walk-Around Cone of these beautiful donuts. It is a Virginia Fall Experience, wrapped in a paper cone. We have to admit that our favorite way to enjoy Blue Ridge Cider Doughnuts is to dip them in their fresh, local apple cider.
But there was more… Blue Ridge Cider Doughnuts was also found at the Downtown Orange Street Festival. In addition to cider doughnuts, they also crafted fresh Red Velvet Doughnuts with a Cream Cheese dipping sauce.
Be on the lookout for Blue Ridge Cider Donuts. Follow them on Facebook.
Chiles Peach Orchard Donuts
We finished our Donut Tour at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, Virginia. Don’t let the name fool you. As Summer melts into fall, Chiles Peach Orchard is the market for pumpkins, apples, Fall decorations, pies, wine, and hard cider. And donuts.
During the Summer, the donuts at Chiles are peach cider donuts. In Fall, the donut kitchen makes hundreds of apple cider donuts a day. We purchased a dozen still-warm donuts for our ride back to Amherst, VA. And an extra-large pumpkin, an apple pie, a bottle of wine and a six-pack of hard cider.
I also want to mention that you can find the same donuts at Carter Mountain, near Charlottesville, VA. The Chiles family has owned both locations for generations. Their family recipe for cider donuts is a well-guarded secret. At Carter Mountain, you can munch on warm cider donuts as you pick your own apples or visit the pumpkin patch. Then, watch the sunset across the Blue Ridge. During October weekends, thousands visit this mountain in search of the famous cider donut.
You can learn about both Chiles Peach Orchard and Carter Mountain by visiting their website:
Our Cider Donut Tour ended. We drove back to Amherst along RT 151 in Nelson County. Passed apple orchards that have been packing apples for well over a hundred years. And came full-circle back to the town of Amherst and the circle in the road. A fitting end to our love fest for a round cake donut.