DONUTS. This word is enough to induce Homer Simpson into a trance-like drool. Lately this word is on the tip of most foodies’ tongues.
How so? One donut company that has been on my radar is Cartems Donuterie. This donuterie is known to use fresh, locally sourced, and organic ingredients. Their claim to fame is their handmade donuts are offered in a variety of creative flavors and are one of the shops that offer vegan and gluten-free donuts.
Caroline (Food Persuasion) and I set out on this tasty adventure and found out that we should have waited at the shop when we first arrived. When we came back a few minutes before opening time, she was shocked to see a line up form in front of the shop.
Since the shop is located on Hastings and Carrall (edge of Gastown), you’re bound to find some very interesting characters there. Some of the interesting passer-bys thought that we were crazy lining up for a $3 donut. Damn, these donuts should be tasty!
Another interesting character to note was the man on a bike near the door. He was a hoot! He blurted out that he doesn’t believe in lining up but rather go in and grab what he needs and leave. “This is how I got this muffin!”, he boasts. Then HE went on to say how good the donuts are at Cartems. One guy in the lineup pointed out to the man that he had a muffin (mind you, it was a Superstore sized jumbo muffin). The man scoffs, “This thing? Meh!” and pretends to throw it over his shoulder. Everyone in the lineup had a good laugh before proceeding to buy the yummy donuts.
Initially, my intention was to get the Maple Bacon Bourbon. After hearing that the first 2 people in the line bought all of them, my heart was broken.
Caroline and I decided to get different donuts to try, instead. I got The Campfire and the Earl Grey and Caroline got the Breakfast donut and the Triple Chocolate threat.
After purchasing the donuts, we went to International Village to sample our goodies.
The first donut we tried was the Triple Chocolate Threat. This is a chocolate donut dipped in chocolate ganache and sprinkled with crisp Callebaut chocolate pearls. This chocolate donut was slightly dense and dry. It wasn’t as rich as I expected. However, I loved how the chocolate pearls gave texture to this donut.
The next donut we tried was the Breakfast donut. This was a baked whole wheat donut with organic figs, flax seeds and honey. Densely packed with healthy ingredients, this donut tasted like a healthy pancake. It also had pockets of honey which was a pleasant surprise.
The third donut we had was The Campfire. It was a chocolate donut dipped in chocolate ganache, sprinkled with graham crumbs, and topped with a handmade vanilla marshmallow that’s drizzled with chocolate. This was the ultimate s’mores donut! This donut was light and chocolately and not sugary sweet. It was my favorite chocolate donut! The handmade marshmallow was definitely a nice touch.
Last but not least, was the Earl Grey donut. This was an earl grey cake donut with an earl grey glaze, sprinkled with mallow flowers (flowers used in earl grey tea). This donut was slightly dense and the subtle flavour of the tea comes through after one bite. This was my favorite donut of the ones I’ve tried!
Overall, Cartems Donuts are definitely worth it! It’s made with locally sourced organic ingredients and are handmade. They come in many creative flavors and are simply delicious! I also recommend visiting the shop as the owners, Rags, was fantastic, as you can see him and his team being passionate in what they do. (Not to mention the interesting characters you’ll see when you are waiting in line for the donuts.)
One day, I hope to try all the flavors.
One day, the Maple Bourbon Bacon donut will be mine! :P