Thursday, March 08, 2018

Pepple's Donuts -> Donut Farm

Back in 2015, I tried Pepple's Donuts, when it was just a little pop up at the Ferry Building.  Let's just say, I wasn't impressed (although I never published my review then, I've included it below).

But Pepple's has re-branded and expanded, with multiple locations now, including Berkeley, Oakland, and even Los Angeles.  After 3 years, I decided to give them another try.

What is Pepple's?  Er, now "Donut Farm"?  A donut shop (promising!).  An ... organic donut shop (ok, fine).  A ... vegan organic donut shop (yeah ...).  My memories were of pretty lackluster creations.  I'm glad to report, they have improved.
Donuts? Well, ok!
I didn't seek out the donuts though, they came to me.  Someone brought in donuts, and had lots of leftovers.

Luckily for me, everyone seemed interesting in sampling them, and was happy to cut off chunks of different ones.  This meant I got to try a large selection!

The texture of all of them is different from what I expected.  They *look* like cake donuts, but taste like old fashioned.  Dense, crispy, greasy in a good way.  I actually really liked the texture quite a bit, and certainly would not know they were vegan.

Most of them just have different glazes on top of the same cake-old-fashioned base, although the chocolate ones use a chocolate base.
(Clockwise, from Top): Blueberry (upside down), Whiskey Tangerine Fig, Maple Candycap Mushroom, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Lemon Poppyseed ($3-$3.50 each).
The first box had an assortment of $3 "Classics" and $3.50 "Top Shelf" selections.  I tried all of these.
  • Blueberry:  The glaze on this was great, with a very bright berry flavor.  Second favorite.
  • Whiskey Tangerine Fig: I didn't taste whiskey in this, but it had a citrus note to it.  Ok, nothing special.
  • Maple Candycap Mushroom: This was my favorite!  The maple flavor was very strong, but then there was a really interesting depth to the finish, a sweetness that I would never be able to identify (from the candy cap).  Glaze was more generous on this one too.
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate: I didn’t realize this was chocolate when I took it.  Mexican chocolate is never my favorite, and the chocolate base and icing tasted funny.  Least favorite I tried.
  • Lemon Poppyseed: Very tangy, good lemon flavor, bright.  Middle of the pack for me.
(Clockwise, from Top): Coconut Whiteout, Whiskey Tangerine Fig, Szechaun Chai?, Matcha Green Tea, Blueberry, Vanilla Cookie.
The second box had some repeats, plus a few news one.  I tried two from here.
  • Matcha Green Tea (green with white stripe): This had a strange flavor to the matcha.  I like matcha, but I did not like this.  Second to last pick, and I didn’t even want a second bite (but I took it, to keep evaluating …).
  • Vanilla Cookie (cookie crumbles on top):  This was fairly plain, just plain donut base, plain vanilla icing, and a couple cookie crumbles that weren’t enough to be tasted.  The cookie wasn’t incorporated anywhere else.

Original 2015 Review (previously unpublished)

I never published this, but found my notes, so, including for completeness.  Things have clearly improved!
Vanilla Sprinkle.
Wow, this was not tasty. It was dry. The base had no real flavor. The glaze just fell off, and it too wasn't tasty. The sprinkles even looked pathetic.

Other notes:
  • Blueberry: Blueberry throughout the donut with blueberry glaze.  Glaze was nice, rest of it was just kinda soggy and uninteresting flavor.
  • Coconut:  Standard not very goo cake donut with coconut flakes on top.  Did not like.
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