After an excursion to the middle of Louisiana, I decided to try another route home. Conveniently, this route led me through Natchez. It’s not often I find myself in this architectural gem, but I was really going through Natchez for one thing: The Donut Shop.
There are two ways I heard about the donut shop. First was through the Southern Foodways Alliance and their Delta Tamale Trail website. Second was from Alton Brown in his second season of feasting on Asphalt. I had enjoyed the donut side of The Donut Shop once before, but the tamales would be something new. I can only hope they would be better than the other Natchez tamales from Fat Mama’s.
I ordered a variety of donuts to go, but I knew I should try the tamales here as they really don’t reheat too well.
A cross section of a tamale, but what about the flavor. Well I asked the counter and found they used hamburger meat, so I’ll assume ground chuck. Outside of the beef, there really wasn’t much in the way of spiciness. There was no real cumin flavor either, but they were quite juicy. A few minutes later, I did notice a slight lingering heat, maybe a touch of cayenne, but while I was eating them, I found them quite bland. There’s only two Natchez stops on the Delta Tamale trail, and I have to be frank, they aren’t worth stopping for.
However, you generally don’t go a place called The Donut Shop for tamales, so let’s take a look at the bounty I brought home. First are the cinnamon twists.
While they might look nice, these were essentially a long, braided, and glazed donut. If there was any cinnamon flavor lurking in the twists, I couldn’t find it.
What about the most basic of donuts, the glazed?
You can tell this is not a machine applied glaze, but underneath the sugary exterior was a very dense and quite tasty doughnut. The powdered sugar and vanilla glaze only made the doughnut that much better.
You can’t talk about a glazed donut and not mention the chocolate covered.
I have no idea what this monstrosity is called, but it seems like a diabetic’s nightmare.
Here it’s the same dough as the others, but covered in a chocolate and caramel glaze that is completely overpowering.
I’d be amazed to see someone eat a whole one in a single sitting. I’m sure they’d go into insulin shock, but it would be delicious.
A doughy triangle with apple cinnamon filling, I immediately discovered the merit of sticking this in the microwave.
It was only 30 seconds, but that was enough to turn this from a sweet, dense, and doughy treat to something that was light but bursting with cinnamon flavor. The only real downside to this fritter is that whatever apple is there is completely overshadowed by the sugar.
Meat pies in the form of crawfish and Natchitoches meat pies. Unfortunately I was too full to try these after sampling the variety of donuts, and when I went to eat them, they mysteriously disappeared.
At the very least, I’ll say this. If you happen to find yourself in Natchez, make sure to visit some of the beautiful antebellum homes, but also pay a visit to The Donut Shop. It’s a nice reprieve from the Krispy Kreme dominated world of donuts, but I think it’s best to avoid the tamales. There are many better examples around the state.