Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Top Five Fall Favorites at Atkins Farms

By Emily Abrams

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A recent trip to Atkins Farms, at the juncture of Bay Road and Rte. 116 in Amherst, revealed some old and new favorite items at this long-standing family farm and market. The farm stand is a year-round grocer for locals, but it is their seasonal fall specials that draw in more customers every fall.

Flickr/Nedral

Apple cider donuts

Entering the market you are immediately drawn by the aroma of freshly baked apple cider donuts coming from the ovens. The bakery area is filled with tables and chairs and has a warm and cozy feel with fall decorations and pumpkins placed almost everywhere.  A friendly employee greeted me and asked to take my order. What’s the most popular item in the bakery every fall? Without a doubt it’s their famous apple cider donuts. The woman at the counter, Kim Smyth, said, “You can’t keep them on the shelves.” You can purchase one donut for 75 cents or buy a dozen to really indulge. These donuts have just the right amount of crunch on the outside, are soft and warm on the inside and are covered in the perfect amount of sugar and cinnamon. You will definitely understand why these donuts are Atkins’ top selling item.

Apple cider

Who doesn’t love apple cider? Apple cider is one of the best parts of fall. Although it can be overwhelmingly sweet sometimes, cider is a comforting drink to have, especially when warm but also iced. At Atkins Farms, the apple cider is right alongside those yummy cider donuts in popularity. They sell the cider in three different sizes. There is a personal size, if you are in the mood for a quick drink to pair up with your cider donuts or sweet potato soup. There is a medium size, if you are willing to share with your friends, family or roommates. There is also a large jug, if you’re in the mood to share with a bigger group of people. I went with the medium-sized jug that costs $3.95 and it’s totally worth it. Just remember, you have to drink it quickly because fresh items like apple cider seem to only last a couple of days. If you are looking for a recommendation on great apple cider, definitely drive over to Atkins and you won’t be disappointed.

Shetland salmon fillet

Walking through the market you will come to the meat and seafood area and, with such a nice selection of the fresh fish, you will definitely find yourself tempted to buy a piece to cook for dinner. Feel free to ask the opinion of the friendly fish professionals at Atkins. What is the top selling fish at Atkins? The two men behind the counter told me right away about the farm-raised fresh salmon fillet called Shetland Salmon. It’s usually very popular among the crowd shopping here. The Shetland Salmon was bright orange and looked extremely fresh. This fillet has a little bit of a different taste from other salmon fillets, which was intriguing to hear. It costs $14.99 per lb. and seemed to be a wonderful healthy dinner option.

Butternut squash

If you are looking for a good side dish to go along with your Shetland Salmon, take a stroll into the Atkins Farms produce department and check out the aisle with all the different types of squash. Just ask Tyler Sadoski, another friendly employee, which squash he thought they sold the most of this season. “Butternut is the most popular,” he said. Assuming this guy knew what he was talking about when it came to squash, I bought myself a butternut squash to make for dinner. This squash is delicious when baked with butter and brown sugar and at only 39 cents per lb., it is definitely an affordable and satisfying side dish to have with any meal.

Ooma Tesoro’s Marinara Sauce

As you enter the specialty foods area of Atkins Farms, you will notice many items that are locally produced in the New England area. There are many different types of pasta and sauces but one of them stood out, probably because of the eye catching neon green label. After reading about the product you may be tempted to buy a jar of Ooma Tesoro’s Marinara Sauce. Ooma, means “grandma”, and this sauce is made in small batches, fresh every week, with all natural ingredients, and produced in the Berkshires by Ooma Tesoro’s grandson Michael, using ingredients from local family farms. I am always looking for a tomato sauce that is not too expensive but still tastes fresh, and Ooma Tesoro’s Marinara Sauce encompasses just that, sold for $5.99 a jar. Check out their YouTube video.

Atkins Farms is the perfect autumn day trip and it has so much to offer. Don’t miss it this season. Visit their website at www.atkinsfarms.com.

Emily Abrams can be reached at [email protected]

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