How to Eat Like a Local on Your Vermont Vacation
Chefs often plan their menus around what’s in season locally. In spring, pure maple products sweeten pastries and cocktails. In summer, tart, sweet berries enliven desserts, and as the days turn cooler, harvest season staples like squash and apples fill pies and flavor plates at Vermont restaurants. Some restaurants even supplement their acquisitions with herb and produce gardens growing on site, spicing up salads with hand-tended greens or foraged fiddleheads and bringing out flavors with fresh-grown herbs. Vermont dining experiences range from restaurants offering rich fare and immersive ambiance to an intimate table on the farm where your dinner came from to roadside snack shacks you’ll want to mark on your map for a return visit.
A trip to Vermont can center around local food tours, classes, and farms. Get hands-on (literally or figuratively, your choice!) at a Vermont farm stay and get an up-close look at how Vermont’s farms care for livestock and produce every step of the journey from farm to fork. A walking tour around a Vermont farm offers fresh air, pastoral views, and usually, the chance to buy food products directly from the farm. You don’t have to stay at a Vermont farm to reap its bounty; a stroll through a farmers market fills your senses with bright, vivid produce filling baskets and the enticing smells of freshly prepared coffee, breads, and sweets filling the air, along with live music and friendly chatter. Picking your own strawberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins, and squash is a great way to find local food throughout the growing season. Many orchards and farms also offer homemade treats, like cider donuts, apple pies, and fresh, delicious cider, served hot or cold. Visits at Vermont maple sugarhouses, stops on craft brew trails, and tours of famous Vermont food producers round out a foodie trip to Vermont.
Refreshing on its own, Vermont’s creamy dairy is also the foundation for flavorful ice cream. A classic Vermont treat, the maple creemee, gets its name from the thick, rich texture and flavor of its soft-serve ice cream. Sample one after another along the Vermont Fresh Network Maple Creemee Trail, or take a tour of the famous Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, resuming tours in May 2022.
Vermont dairy is also the building block for world-class cheese. Vermont’s cheesemakers have earned global awards for cheeses from cloth-bound, cave-aged firm cheddar to soft, gooey spreadable cheeses that add local panache to any charcuterie board or table.
All that local food is complemented by ciders, beers, and wines made with Vermont-grown fruits and hops. Ice-hardy Vermont grapes make for wines pressed with the taste of the place, and Vermont’s brewers are celebrated for their innovative, flavorful brews, and ability to use what’s in season statewide, while cider makers elevate Vermont fruit to an impeccably crafted pour. Explore Vermont craft beer along a beer trail statewide.
As you head home, you’ll probably have stocked your car with pure Vermont maple syrup, local cheese, your new favorite beer or wine, or farmers market bounty to remember your vacation by; add to your collection of favorite recipes with a selection straight from Vermont growers and producers.
Wherever you travel in Vermont, a wide selection of fresh, local food will be a staple of your adventure as you savor the true taste of your favorite places.