About 45 miles south of Clarksdale, Mississippi is the town of Greenwood, home to the gravesite of Robert Johnson. There are actually three purported gravesites for the blues legend, but most historians believe this to be the real one. So after a morning milling around Clarksdale and enjoying pretzel-shaped donuts from Delta Donut, Mrs. Blognut and I hop in our rented Chevy Impala and make the drive to Greenwood.
Honestly, when planning this day excursion to the burial ground of Mr. Johnson, we stupidly neglected the possibility of a donut encounter. But donuts are huge in the South, where they fry everything. And what's the first thing we see when arrive in Greenwood? Well, it's actually about two miles of strip malls. But after that, the first thing we see is Honest Abe's Donuts.
All you really need to know about Honest Abe's is that it has to be one of the only donut shops in the country serving tamales. Of course we show up on the one day they're out of tamales - so we have to settle for Donuts. Which, if you know anything about Blognut, is not much of a let down.
Actually, there's one more thing you should know about Honest Abe's. And that's that I'm pretty sure they were previously a Shipley's Donuts, the famed Houston, Texas-based Pop-nut chain. I won't go into the specifics that lead me to this conclusion, as my next post will be devoted exclusively to Shipley's, but trust me when I say that Abe's shares more than a few aesthetic and gustatory characteristics with the Texan donut-dealer.
I start with a blueberry-filled. The dough is so light I wonder how it manages to maintain its shape, as opposed to evaporating into the ether. Seriously, as I bite into it the dough has nearly dissolved by the time my upper and lower teeth make contact. The top is covered in an ample sprinkling of granulated sugar while the center is stuffed with super-sweet blueberry compote. It's one of the sweeter Donuts I've ever had, but not in that nauseating Krispy Kreme sort of way.
I wash down the blueberry-filled with a sugar yeast Donut. Again the same barely-there dough coated with a ton of granulated sugar, only this time without the compote getting in the way. I much prefer the simplicity of this Donut's flavor to that of the Blueberry.
After finishing the sugar Donut and spilling what seemed to be the equivalent of 2 cups of sugar all over the floor of the Impala, we set off for the Little Zion Baptist Church where we find Mr. Johnson's grave. For a moment I contemplate taking a picture of a Donut (we had another sugar in the car) along side the headstone. Thankfully, I quickly realize such an act would be disrespectful. Some things are better left sacred.