Three years ago next month, Alex Talbot and his wife, Aki Kamozawa, the science-minded authors of the acclaimed blog Ideas in Food, decided to apply their zealous pursuit of Maximum Flavor (the title of one of their cookbooks) to the art of the doughnut. They opened a stall at the Stockton Farmers’ Market called Curiosity Doughnuts, and, as we reported in 2016, immediately began “elevating a munchie to amazingness.”
The Stockton market is open only on weekends, so early this year the couple arranged to open a second Curiosity Doughnuts stand, operating six days a week in the Whole Foods in Spring House, Pennsylvania, about a 40-minute drive from their home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The stand opened in early March.
“We were inundated with business,” Talbot says. “We later transitioned to four days a week. We wanted to keep doing Stockton on weekends, but I just couldn’t keep up. It was really hard for me to admit that. At the end of March, we pulled out. But the plan has always been to get back into New Jersey.”
Sometime in October, Talbot and Kamozawa will open a Curiosity Doughnuts stand in the Whole Foods on Route 1 South in Princeton. Initially it will operate Sundays only, from 10 AM until the doughnuts sell out. The couple will bake their several types of fiendishly perfected doughnuts early Sunday morning in their facility at the Spring House Whole Foods and drive the batch to Princeton.
Curiosity’s cake doughnuts have a rich, dense crumb and a subtle sweetness. The apple-cider cake doughnut is made with real apple cider, not concentrate. Their yeasted doughnuts, with various natural-flavor glazes, are ethereally fluffy.
Overall, Curiosity Doughnuts, in our opinion, have so advanced the state of the art of doughnut making, not just in technique but in flavor, texture and visual appeal, that we included them in the dessert section of our 2017 Foodie Bucket List cover story.
The newest addition to the lineup is the “not-quite-vegan” doughnut, so called, Talbot says, “because it’s dairy- and egg-free, but it’s fried in the same fryer as our other doughnuts. So it’s not quite vegan, but it’s phenomenal. Ninety-five percent of people who are vegan are fine with that, and those who aren’t are happy we’re letting them know.”
At Stockton, the doughnuts could be paired with the couple’s vanilla buttermilk frozen custard. They don’t have the means to do custard at either Whole Foods location. “We still have a custard fetish,” Talbot says, “but we have to put it on hold for now.”
Talbot says Curiosity’s agreement with Whole Foods does not give the chain exclusive rights to the brand. “Whole Foods wanted us to continue in Stockton, if we could,” Talbot says. “They’re all about supporting small local businesses, highlighting them and giving them an opportunity to shine. They’ve been insanely supportive and behind us. It’s a lovely relationship.”
As for Stockton and its Farmers’ Market, “They were sad to see us go and we were equally sad to go,” Talbot says. “We’d become very connected with Stockton. They’re an incredible community of people who supported us.”
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I used to drive about an hour and ten minutes to get to them in Stockton and was very disappointed when I found they had gone. I hope I get to drive about the same time to Princeton for them, but the limited hours there and that they are not baked there are a problem. They are great doughnuts!