Who made it best?
Apples are in season, and we at The Sentinel wanted in on the action. We decided to find the best apple dumpling in town, comparing the dumplings baked up by Crane's in the City and Russ'.
See what Sentinel staff had to say after a blind taste test:
Audra Gamble, cops and courts reporter: Just visually, Russ' looks way more appealing. It’s a great golden color with thicker sauce. The pastry on Crane's in the City didn’t hold together well, and was weirdly sour. Both could have used a little more cinnamon for my taste, but Russ' had a better overall flavor.
Erin Dietzer, education reporter: Russ' held together better and had a better flavor overall.
Austin Metz, business reporter: The first bite of Russ' was much better than Crane's. If had more cinnamon and the filling was sweeter that Crane's. Russ' was also more appealing to the eye.
Lori Timmer, features editor: While Russ' was visually appealing, I feel Crane's actually had a flakier crust and a tastier apple. Russ' had a lot of cinnamon, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Jake Allen, county reporter: Russ' was visually appealing, but I think there was apple skin left in the dumpling and I did not like that. Crane's had a better crust and a better flavor, as well.
Sarah Leach, editor-in-chief: The crust and sauce of Crane's were great, but the cinnamon-y, apple-y goodness in Russ' was more satisfying.
Sarah Heth, assistant features editor: The cinnamon is what was the decider for me. Russ' had much more, and that was the flavor I wanted to complement the apple flavor.
It was essentially a tie, with my vote pushing it over the edge to make Russ' a winner. Perhaps taste is on the tongue of the beholder: flakier crust, or more cinnamon? Make your choice.
Timmer's final thought was on point, however: "A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top would have made both even better."
Crane's in the City's dumpling cost $4.75. The restaurant is at 11 E. Eighth St. in Holland. The Russ' dumpling cost $3.19. There are several Russ' in Holland, but the one closest to The Sentinel office is at 361 E. Eighth St.