Watching Disney's Johnny Appleseed never fails to bring a lump to my throat. The sheer simplicity of one man's mission to bring apple trees to America (at least in the Disney version, the real story is a little more muddled) makes me long for a clearer purpose in my own life. Something simple, like planting bacon bushes all over Louisville to feed the bacon starved masses. A girl can dream.
Anyway, in the Disney version of Johnny Appleseed, there is a scene where settlers are doling out various apple flavored treats, including stacks of apple fritters. I had never tasted an apple fritter before this past Friday, when I visited State Donuts, at 12907 Factory Lane in Louisville. It's a small shop, a little off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. I had been a particularly crabby little legal secretary last week, and wanted to apologize to my co-workers in the best way I know how: by bribing them with sugary things. I got a “special” dozen for about $11.00 (special meaning the large donuts, or the long johns that have to be filled, the simple or cake donuts are less expensive per dozen) and got three apple fritters, three iced cinnamon rolls, and six cream and raspberry filed long johns.
I was extremely impressed that the worker at State filled the long johns right in front of me, with raspberry and white cream (custard is also available). I was also impressed that the donuts were coming out of the kitchen still piping hot, by the steaming tray, spreading their blossoming scent all over the store. I was most impressed by the sheer size of the deep fried apple fritters, like large dinner plates, golden crunchy on the outside and ooey gooey gorgeous on the inside. I have never had a kiss as wholly satisfying as that apple fritter, (though isn't the nature of a good kiss that it leaves you a little unsatisfied, a little wanton?) and I have been kissed well. The other donuts were passably good:cream filled, maple iced long johns are particularly decadent, but the apple fritters were the shining centerpiece of State.
State is a bit off the beaten path, but it is soundly worth the trip.
photos: Elizabeth Orrick