To Go To Troutbirders Nature Blog (click on above picture)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


During “the war” (people of my parents generations reference to WWII) we lived in an apartment on the East Side in St. Paul.  My dad parents and siblings all lived within a ten block radius. We lived in the apartment from 1941 till 1945.  To my child eyes my grandpa was very aged.  About once a week, cane in hand, and carrying a small white paper bag, he arrived at our door. Inside was something for me from Bastas bakery just around the corner.  From those days to this my favorite sweet has always been Bismark’s. 

In Manitoba and the prairie western provinces of Canada, as well as parts of the Midwest in the US, such  round jelly- or custard-filled doughnuts are commonly called  "bismarks," while a filled bar doughnut is called a "long john", and usually contains pastry creme, custard or whipped cream but can contain a jelly filling.  Yummy!  Think I'll run down to the bakery this morning. We still have a wonderful small town bakery.  Most of them have been replaced by the big box store type in Rochester..... Too bad.


Primitive Stars said...

Now you went and made me crave a Bismark,:) yum yum.....Spring Blessings Francine.

NCmountainwoman said...

When we first lived in Milwaukee, it seemed every block or two had a bar and a bakery. Too bad you have the cholesterol police right there in your house.

Anvilcloud said...

I have lived in southern Ontario most of my life and the term, Bismark, is not used here. It is probably used from Thunder Bay westward. It's like Western vs Denver. We call them Westerns down here, but I have read that they're Denvers in Thunder Bay and west of there.

amanda said...

These look awfully tasty right now.
Up in Grand Rapids, we still have a local multi-generation family run bakery. Surprisingly, the chain donut shops have not done well.

I prefer cream or custard to jelly-filled, myself!

Families are so spread out these days. I think there was something very special about families living within village distance.
My sisters and I all live within a 20-30 mile range of our parents.. my brother had to venture off to the nuclear power plant in Monticello for his job. Still - compared to many families, we're still close. Easy to get together on a Sunday afternoon.
Maybe next time I'll bring a box of Bismarks!

Montanagirl said...

My favorite (and still is) is the Maple Bar. LOVE those. But I'm not supposed to be eating too much sugar so says my Dr.

Ms Sparrow said...

My mom really loved Bismarks with jelly filling. I always liked the long johns with cream filling and maple frosting and chopped peanuts on top. Those little hometown bakeries were the best!

Knatolee said...

I wish we had a good bakery! Those bismarks look wonderful!

Ms Sparrow said...

Hi again, I found that the Taste section of today's Star Tribune has a feature article on local donuts. You have to check out the one called a Breakfast Bismarck (they add the "c"). It comes with a maple glaze and applewood-smoked bacon on top!

Folkways Note Book said...

Oh! Long Johns -- yikes keep them away from me -- I could make a meal of them. Like your story of your grandpa and his little white bag. Do you find, as a past social studies teacher, that the years of the Deprresion and WWII were so influential and changed the way we lived prior to those years??? -- barbara