Eat Your Way Through Vermont

Everyone knows that Vermont is famous for cheese, maple syrup, and other homegrown treats. Diane Foulds of The Boston Globe writes in a new article that there is much more to those treats than some people realize. Eat Your Way Through Vermont is a new tour that lasts for three days during the spring, summer, and fall. The tour takes you to farms, markets, and food producers to give you a good taste of the cuisine of Vermont. Here’s a sample from the article.

These welcoming stores, plentifully stocked with seasonal specialties, represent the next evolutionary step from the dwindling family farm. Numbering about a dozen, most are staffed by family members, and in most cases not at all remorseful that they’ve swapped barn-mucking for bus-greeting. Several shops provide amusements for the nonshoppers who turn up inevitably in every crowd, and all make for interesting browsing, if only to wince at the moose shirts and chocolate “cow patties.”

In the mood for soft serve? Don’t ask for vanilla; maple’s the only flavor. As you lick the creamy softness, look around at how many concoctions a Vermont farm with time on its hands can dream up, and the answer is: plenty. Maple in every form conceivable: fudge, candy, sauce, cream, sugar, mustard, salad dressing, and more. For the more adventuresome, maple-infused beef jerky, peanut brittle, and popcorn.

At Butternut Mountain Farm’s shop in downtown Johnson, you can sample infused maple syrups spiced with unexpected accents, a gourmet twist on the usual pancake topper. Besides the gingered maple, there’s Sweet Autumn tinged with a vanilla-apple blend, Sweet Chai with cardamom and ginger, and Sweet Heat nuanced with habanero peppers. Owner Dave Marvin is the second of a three-generation sugaring family that wholesales syrup to other producers. He opened the shop a few years ago as “an adjunct to the farm” and to test new items on the market. Maple isn’t all he sells; you’ll also find honeys, homemade jams, chocolates, pewter, and locally-crafted gifts.

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