The Tastiest Passport Stamps


I haven’t eaten a donut in years. YEARS! I stood at the bakery counter drooling over the array of confections, when I saw it: a maple pecan long john. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. When the counter clerk asked if she could help me, all I could do was point.

One bite and I was immediately reminded of Meg Ryan’s orgasmic scene in When Harry Met Sally. I didn’t want to make noises as I chewed the soft, doughy richness of maple glaze mingling with chopped pecans, but I did. Thank goodness my daughter was the only one who heard. She made some “mmm” noises over her coconut donut, too, so I didn’t feel bad. But for the minute that it took me to devour that donut, I experienced a bliss I hadn’t known for years. You know how I love maple

We’d hit the Donut Trail.

I live in Butler County, Ohio where the  Visitor’s Bureau ingeniously organized a Donut Trail to 9 independent donut (so hard for me not to spell it doughnut!) shops within the county. You can go on their website and print out a passport, or pick one up at most of the shops listed. At each stop, you get your passport stamped. Once your passport is completely stamped, you turn it in to the Visitor’s Bureau for a t-shirt that says “Traveled. Found. Devoured.” Oh, yes — I devoured.

The website warns you that some of the shops sell out quickly, but we didn’t believe it until we pulled into Stan the Donut Man’s just as they were hanging the closed sign on the door because they were out of donuts. It was only 10:38am! My daughter and I had been salivating at the thought of donuts after her soccer game, so we checked the trail map and hurried to another shop, crossing our fingers that they still had some left.They did. By this time, we were hooked on donuts.

A friend of mine did the whole Donut Trail with her husband in one day. Sounds like a stomachache waiting to happen to me. Sure, I would have liked to spend the day stuffing donuts in my mouth, but I decided two stops a day was enough, so it took us a month to finish the course.

On our trail we devoured these delicious flavors:

Orange Chiffon Donut

Maple Pecan Long John

Blueberry Glazed Donut

Raspberry Lemonade Donut

Cinnamon Twist Donut

Chocolate Oreo Cake Donut

Peanut Butter-filled Donut

Chocolate Iced Donut with a Dollop of Cream

Maple Bacon Long John

Cherry Danish

Strawberry Cake Donut

Frosted Coconut Donut

Blueberry Cream Cheese-filled Donut

Salted Caramel Iced Donut

Raspberry Cheesecake Donut

Smores Donut

Apple Fritter

My favorite was the Maple Pecan Long John. I don’t know if that’s because it was the first doughnut I’d eaten in years, or if it was just that good. I think it really was the best of the bunch, but I’m more than happy to hit the trail again and keep comparing it to others. Especially the Orange Chiffon. And the Raspberry Cheesecake donuts.They tied for a close second. Or was it the cherry danish? I don’t know. Maybe I’d better hit the trail again. But if I do it too many times, I may need a larger t-shirt.


What is your favorite doughnut flavor?




13 responses to “The Tastiest Passport Stamps

  1. How do you keep your figures? Plain jam doughnut for me, once in a blue moon.

    One interesting passport experience here – when you visit the War Tunnels you are handed a facsimile of an identity card which belonged to a real Jersey resident during the German Occupation. At the end of the tour you get to learn their fate, good or (often) bad.

    • That’s interesting, Roy. They do something similar at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.. And at the Titanic Experience in Ireland. It definitely makes it feel more personal.

      As for our figures– my daughter could eat a million donuts and still stay skinny. I had to carefully dole mine out. 😦

      • There is a place in Portland called Voodoo Donuts, regionally famous for its gooey concoctions. I tried its maple/bacon donut. It was too much. I just couldn’t eat it. I was able to consume donuts on my bike trek, however, and rarely passed up a donut shop. I had a lot of bad habits to break when I got home! 🙂 –Curt

    • Thanks, Madhu! It was a wonderfully ingenious marketing strategy and it’s great to see all the people who are frequenting these Mom & Pop donut shops. Every time we went to one, there were lines of people.

  2. Holy moly, those are some decadent-sounding donuts! I haven’t eaten one in years but I am fairly partial to the raspberry jelly-filled ones. The Visitor’s Bureau definitely were smart about working with the donut shops to create this tour for people though! Sounds like a fun, one-a-blue-moon kind of experience. 🙂

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