Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018. (You already look delicious.)
The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on the past year — the good, the bad, and the consistent. The apple fritter, a typical autumn staple, can be found year-round in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.
But fritters go beyond just the common apple filling. When Googling “fritter” for its definition, it reads “a piece of fruit, vegetable, or meat that is coated in batter and deep-fried.”
The first time I posted about fritters was in mid-2016. The posts transitioned from the occasional Friday (possibly bi-weekly) to weekly, and my appetite for the fried treats and opportunity to for alliteration haven’t ceased. The only day I enjoyed two fritters was on September 15, 2017.
After one year and six months of posting about the doughy delight, I’ve decided to extend my horizons to a general “Treat of the Week.” The runner up was “Macaroon Monday,” but you can’t eat just one of those puppies. For the sake of my health and wallet, I’ll stick to a surprise every Friday.
For now, it’s time to highlight these fritters for what and how good they are.
Harrison Bakery, Syracuse
It’s location was across the street and down a couple doors from my former employer, so it was easy to make the notable bakery, which was founded in 1961, my go-to. It’s a well-deserved go-to, because of the quality of the fritter. There are actual pieces of apple. The dough is proofed well. The flavor is amazing. It will forever be at the top of my favorites for years to come.
Lyncourt Bakery, Lyncourt, NY
This fritter probably the heaviest fritter in the world. It’s proofed well. It’s filled with apple and flavor. The bakery was opened in 1956, and proves its longevity with quality of products and affordability. Another fritter to tack to the top of my rankings.
Props to Recess Coffee for making a breakfast sandwich with this fritter. They cut the fritter in half, toasted it and included bacon, egg and cheese. Stellar!
Modern Malt Bake Shop, Armory Square, Syracuse
Fritter: Apple in Portuguese Sweet Bread
It’s one of the more expensive fritters, but the boldness of the Portuguese sweet bread is an incredible feat. Baker Brandon Gore knocked this doughy delight out of the park. And he wasn’t shy about the apple chunks in there.
Donut Pub, 203 W. 14th St., New York
Cost: Don’t remember, but confident of $1-$2
In March 2017, I headed to New York City. I needed a vacation and the carry over time for my vacation was about to expire at the end of the month. Finding an apple fritter in the Big Apple was a tough task. It got to the point — after stopping in several bakeries and coffee shops and guilt-buying coffee and donuts (thankfully I walked a lot) — I stopped at this Manhattan bakery. To my surprise, they Donut Pub had one!
The apple chunks were minimal and they compensated with the syrupy apple filling often found in donuts or other baked goods, but it worked. It was a huge fritter, bigger than the massive Harrison Bakery fritters I was familiar with.
The Sweet Praxis, Hanover Square, Syracuse
Cost: Don’t remember, but possibly $2.50-$3
After I enjoyed Modern Malt’s take on the fritter, I saw through the social media world The Sweet Praxis had this delight. So, this was the second Sept. 15, 2017, fritter I enjoyed this delight. Praxis is known for their baked goods, and they didn’t shy away from this edible art. The dough was proofed well — clearly this is the trend for the independent bakeries. Flavor and quality is worth the cost. Treat yourself, and treat yourself well.
O is for Orchard
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, LaFayette, NY
Cost: ~$3 for four or five rings
Tim’s Pumpkin Patch, Marietta, NY
Cost: ~$3 for four or five rings
The fritters at both of these orchards are very, very similar. Both are very, very delicous. They step away from the bakery take and directly fry lightly coated apple rings. The result is fried food communion anyone can take and enjoy. But don’t take them in your palm, they’ll surely sizzle your skin. The
I love both of these, but I’m going to give the edge to Tim’s Pumpkin Patch. Both fall-focused farms do great businesses in the second half of the year, but maybe Beak & Skiff’s high demand and constant, constant churning out of the treats has something to do with it. But there aren’t any flaws.
Green Hills Farms, The Valley, Syracuse
This was accidentally left off the list, because I’m forgetful at times. The hometown small grocery store has a phenomenal bakery department. I’m ashamed to have forgotten about it. The dough is wonderful. The apple pieces are obviously there. The fritter is packed with flavor. It’s slightly better than Price Chopper, but only by a hair.
Kroger, 890 E. 2nd St., Defiance, Oh.
Fritter: Apple or Apple-Cinnamon
Crispy and flavorful, but there was a lack of apple chunks. They are better than Wegmans, but don’t make the top of the list.
Price Chopper, Western Lights, Syracuse
Fritter: Apple or Apple-Cinnamon
One of the best of the supermarket apple fritters. The flavor is similar to that of Harrison Bakery’s. There are distinctive piece of apple in each fritter. The dough is proofed well — airy and flavorful. If the lines are too long at the standard bakery, Price Chopper is the way to go.
Tops, Westvale Plaza, Syracuse
Fritter: Apple … or standard?
I’ve always loved the bakery at Tops, even when it was P&C. The dough is always great. However, in the couple times I’ve enjoyed their fritters, there was a lack of apple pieces. Needless to say, the enjoyment was there. It was far from dry, but a bad representative of the market’s bakery department. It sits in second place, ahead of Kroger.
Wegmans, Fairmount/Camillus and Western Lights, Syracuse
Wegmans may be one of the best businesses to work for, but their fritters don’t make the cut. It bottoms out at the fourth and probably overall last when compared to the other fritters. There is little “proof” in the dough and tasted borderline dry the couple times I had it. Dry is a false sense of crispiness. It’s definitely not a representation of their bakery department. (I mean, have you had their chocolate chip cookies? Heavenly!)
Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant, Armory Sqare, Syracuse
Cost: $8 for four fritter balls
Commonly known as “Irish Cannonballs” and made Guy Fieri’s “Flavortown” list on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives, the unique option on this list is an option you can’t get enough of. Enjoy these fried balls of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and cream cheese, and liberally dunk them in the Guinness honey mustard. Best enjoyed with a pint of your favorite ale and on any night of the year. However, it’s a winter comfort food for certain.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald