Digging Into Vermont Food Culture
Vermont may be a small state, but when it comes to producing top-tier food and drink, it is a mighty presence. Situated in central northern Vermont, Stowe is the perfect launching ground for touring all the mesmerizing - and delicious- culinary offerings. With so much to choose from, here are our picks for those wanting to taste their way around Vermont.
More Than Maple Syrup
With Vermont famous for its maple syrup, it’s easy to forget that the state is also home to a thriving beekeeping industry. Vermont is the leading producer of honey in New England, and the agency of Agriculture Food and Markets even calls it, “the best tasting honey in the world.” Take the opportunity while you’re in Stowe to shop local varieties, and pick a few souvenir bottles to take home.
Since the dawn of our state, Vermont’s dairy industry has supported cheese as one of our biggest and best exports. There are over 45 different creameries in Vermont producing everything from classic Vermont cheddar, to maple chevre, to more experimental styles for the adventurous…If you want to take in the breadth of the industry (and taste a lot of cheese), we recommend a drive along the Vermont Cheese Trail. For cheese enthusiasts coming in August, consider catching the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival in Greensboro!
Cider (And Donuts)
Apples are another core of Vermont agriculture - orchards statewide grow over 150 varieties of the fruit, many of which are pressed into cider each fall. As any Vermonter knows, cider means cider donuts, a delicacy not to be missed if you are visiting the area! From Stowe, it’s a quick hop over to Cold Hollow Cider Mill for the full rural cider experience. Enjoy a free tour of the facility, stop by the hard cider tasting room, and of course, eat some “legendary” cider donuts.
Cheers to Vermont Beer
While many states are known for craft beer scenes, Vermont takes the title of most breweries per capita! Beer aficionados will love exploring the over 60 breweries, several of which are located right here in Stowe. For optimum enjoyment, we recommend a hike or bike ride on nearby Mount Mansfield, followed by a flight at one of the not to be missed local tap houses.
Shaping Modern Vermont
While many know Vermont to have a thriving beef industry, there is a strengthening subset of farmers who are passionate about raising lamb meat. In the 1800s, sheep were imported in mass to support a then-booming wool industry, and the specific grazing needs of the animals have played a large role in the development of agricultural landscapes, forming pastoral Vermont as it is today. When in Stowe, The Butchery market is a destination for fine food and meats, and an excellent place to pick up fresh, local, grass-fed lamb, to try it for yourself.
Do As The Locals Do
As of May, the Stowe Farmer’s Market is open for the season! Every Sunday from 10:30-3pm through October, vendors from across the area showcase their hard work and handiwork. The freshest produce, artisanal cheeses, craft beverages, gourmet food stands and more, all come together in one place. For locals and visitors alike, the Stowe Market is a place to experience the splendor and abundance of our town, as well as a true expression of the mastery and community within the broader Vermont food culture.
The depth and variety of what Vermont has to offer is a testament to its rich history and landscape. Through careful stewardship of the land overtime, Vermonters have established a tradition of unique, memorable, and world class ingredients. With so much to taste and appreciate, there is truly something to wow every palette.
(Photos by Dig In Vermont, Cider Hollow, Stowe.com)