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7th Annual Tour de Donut: Nominations

October 7, 2016

October 15. Mark your calendar. Save the date. It’s the Saturday after tomorrow. And that’s when I’ll be leading another group of brave eaters out into the wilderness to try five different apple cider donuts.

I can’t even believe that after all these years there are still more cider donuts in the Capital Region that we haven’t evaluated.

But before we engage in this annual fall rite, it’s customary to call for nominations of where we should go. As usual, I have some thoughts on the matter. And I’ll caution, once again, this isn’t a democracy. So there’s no point in rallying people to endorse any particular comment. I’ll take them all under consideration.

However, on this tour we’ll only be going to places where we haven’t been before. So first, let’s brush up quickly on where the Tour de Donut has taken us in the past.

On our maiden outing in 2010 we visited:
Indian Ladder (win)
Altamont Orchards
Fo Castle
Lakeside Farm

In 2011 we went east of the Hudson:
Golden Harvest (win)

In 2012 we ventured to the far northerly realms:
Liberty Ridge
Saratoga Apple
Hicks (win)

In 2013 we picked up some stragglers:
Gade Farm
Carrot Barn (win)

In 2014 we hit the bakeries beyond the orchards:
Cider Belly (win)
Schuyler Bakery
Bella Napoli
Yonder Farms
Kristy’s Barn

In 2015 we traveled west:
Lake View Orchards
Sand Flats
Terrace Mountain (win)

Which brings us to a week from Saturday, when I want to focus on the hole we’ve left north of the Mohawk, largely to the west of Clifton Park. That includes:

Eagle Mills Cider Company in Broadalbin
Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa
Smith’s Orchard & Bake Shop also in the B-Spa
Malta Ridge Orchard is in B-Spa too

I’m picking up on a trend. However, just a bit outside the focus area of this proposed tour, is another place that has failed to make one of the previous tours. And that is Lansing’s Farm in Niskayuna. That’s five right there. It might not make the most elegant footprint. But it would be a fine route.

Borden’s in Schaghticoke fits with being North of the Mohawk, but it’s east of Clifton Park. Still, it looks like it could be promising.

That makes six. So now we have to make choices about which place to cut from the list.

And surely there are more spots that I’m missing. But I think by this point you get the gist of the geography we are targeting for this tour. This may be the last outing before we start to try and nail down a Tournament of Champions. While part of me totally wants to eat all the cider donuts in the region, another part of me says that trying to get every single last one is an act of folly.

Please, weigh in with your thoughts on where we should stops this time around. But whatever you do, mark your calendars for October 15, because the Tour de Cider Donut is one of the most fun FLB events of the year.

Early next week I’ll announce which orchards made the final cut, in addition to where and when the 7th Annual Tour de Donut will commence. In the meantime, maybe I’ll see you at Troy’s Chowder Fest on Sunday.

Have a great weekend, and hope you have cidery dreams.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2016 8:24 pm

    i recommend you do some research before choosing Ellms Family Farm. It’s more like an amusement park, with massive crowds and long walks from the parking lot. I also believe you have to pay to get in, though if you’re only buying cider donuts you may not need a ticket.

    We tried to go last year and were turned away because we had a dog, which isn’t allowed. We then found Smith’s on Google and had a good experience, but the attraction was the pies rather than cider donuts which are prepared once a day and not served hot.

    Alas, I’ll be out of town next Saturday and will miss this one. Enjoy the rarefied air but flavorful air of Saratoga County.

    • October 10, 2016 11:08 pm

      I hear you on the Ellms Farm warning. But we did also go to Liberty Ridge at one point, and these two places are fairly similar. Since so many people go for the carnival atmosphere, I think it’s fair to put the donuts places like this provide in their proper competitive context.

      Still, if it means paying an admission fee for the honor of spending five minutes on the property, we’ll go elsewhere.

      As far as Smith’s is concerned, this won’t be the first place we’ve stopped where we will not get a hot cider donut. This is still a beloved fall stop, and they do trade in donuts, so the shop’s wares should be tasted and classified by the tour, provided w have an available slot.

  2. ericscheirerstott permalink
    October 9, 2016 8:18 am

    I will be there!

  3. Chad V permalink
    October 11, 2016 10:55 am

    I plan on joining with the family. I will echo prior warning on Ellms Farms. I love the place, in fact I was there with the family yesterday, but it’s more amusement park than anything else with $15 admission. Most important, the donuts are completely forgettable. Not bad, just not memorable. They’re feeding the masses not really crafting a fine product.

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