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Bite Club: Vermont's Food & Drink Blog

Locavore Movement

January 19, 2013

Eat Like You've Been Elected!

ShummyMaybe you're a member of the Vermont congressional delegation. Maybe you have tickets for the Obama swearing-in ceremony and an extra $100 to throw around on top of your round-trip ticket to D.C.

Either way, on Sunday you might find yourself at the Vermont State Society's 2013 Inaugural Reception in our nation's capital and enjoying a menu prepared by members of the Vermont Specialty Food Association.

And if you're staying home, consider this a recipe for a congressional-worthy meal all your own. 

Start with a cheese plate. In D.C., Shummy and co. (shown above at the ribbon cutting for the Mad River Food Hub, where a number of the featured foods are prepared) will be slicing into blocks of 2-year-old maple-smoked cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese, as well as selections from Cabot Creamery and Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery.

Those playing the home game will want to get out their fondue pots. The Washington delegation will be dipping into melted versions of the above cheeses with roasted potato cubes, Empire apple wedges from Champlain Orchards and vegetable crudités.

Food-pastaIf that's too fancy for you, apps will also include bags of chips from Gringo Jack's with the Manchester company's own salsa. Be sure to keep your fingers clean by using a fork when digging into pickles from Lyman's Specialties.

The main course includes a pasta bar with vodka and pesto sauces from Bove's and Vermont Fresh Pasta (right) as well as spicy satay sauce from Vermont Harvest Specialty Foods in Stowe. A carving station features Misty Knoll Farms turkey, sausage from Vermont Smoke & Cure and pork from Vermont Salumi. Those wishing to go vegan and gluten-free can grab a bowl of Thai curry squash soup from Joe's Soups at Screamin' Ridge Farm. A range of Vermont dressings will top salads, including the aforementioned satay. Clearly, the lesson is that the Thai peanut sauce goes on everything.

Foodnews-cider_0Vermont-made (though no longer Vermont-owned) Ben & Jerry's tops the list of desserts, along with apple pies from Ma Bean's Vermont Pie Company, a variety of slices from Vermont Cheesecake Company and Liz Lovely cookies.

But, of course, what really matters is the liquid courage. Whether you're getting up the nerve to talk to one of our representatives or just steeling yourself for the work week, local liquors will be in full force.

The hard stuff comes from from Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey and Vermont Spirits Distilling Co. A wide selection of beers includes sips from Long Trail Brewing Company, Otter Creek Brewing, Magic Hat Brewery and Trapp Family Lodge Brewery. Cider from Essex's Citizen Cider (right) joins wine from Snow Farm Vineyard and Honora Winery.

But when it comes to free-flowing nectar, perhaps it's best to party at home, near a couch and far from lawmakers.


January 11, 2013

So Long, Noble Pig; Hello, Local Grind

PigSarah Moran and Luke Stone, owner and chef, respectively, of Cloud 9 Catering, have formed a sister company.

It's called Vermont Feed Company and is the parent organization for the pair's mobile eateries.

Late last year, I reported that their Noble Pig hot dog cart might have to change its name. Indeed, a cease-and-desist letter from Noble Pig Winery in Oregon has forced the cart to adopt a new moniker, the Local Grind, making a collector's item of the snazzy shirt Stone is sporting above.

Continue reading "So Long, Noble Pig; Hello, Local Grind" »

November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving From Vermont Whey Fed Pigs!

When I visited the pigs at at von Trapp Farmstead for my story in this week's paper about Vermont Whey Fed Pigs, I enjoyed the spectacle of seeing exactly how the Duroc, Old Spot and Tamworth mixed-breeds grow to their 225-pound hanging weight at slaughter.

And to celebrate the fact that we'll be feasting on turkey and not hog this Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share a pair of cute piggy videos.

One of the oinkers' favorites is pizza from Red Hen Baking Co.

Below, here's how the magic happens, as their caretaker, Ignacio Villa, spins their food through the air to them.

Here, a mama, whose piglets were born just days before, enthusiastically recharges with whey left over from the production of the Farmstead's organic Oma cheese. Rolls from Red Hen bob in the liquid. Hopefully, your Thanksgiving dinner has a little more variety, but these pigs are sure to be enjoying their own holiday feast this week!


November 8, 2012

With Prop 37 Dead in California, Will Vermont Become the First to Label GMOs?


While a tide of blue helped push Barack Obama into a second term, legalize gay marriage in three states, and green-light recreational marijuana use in a few others, not all election results were cause for Democratic swooning this week.

In California, voters rejected Proposition 37 — a ballot initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically-engineered ingredients. The measure, backed by organic farmers, natural food purveyors and people concerned with what they eat, was defeated by a margin of 53 to 47.

The victory for the No-on-37 supporters likely stemmed from their unrelenting media blitz in the state, such as the commercial above — it implies that the bill would financially burden farmers and result in higher food prices.

Continue reading "With Prop 37 Dead in California, Will Vermont Become the First to Label GMOs?" »

October 2, 2012

Skinny Pancake to Open Three Eateries at Burlington Airport

Food-skinnypancakeLocal crêperie the Skinny Pancake will expand to the Burlington International Airport by this winter, according to a source at the airport and an article written by co-owner Benjy Adler in a local magazine.

The eateries, slated to open in mid-December, will include a Chubby Muffin kiosk across from the check-in counters and a full-service Skinny Pancake café in each of the two concourses, says Ryan Betcher, who handles marketing, leases and contracts for the airport.

Skinny Pancake owners Benjy and Jonny Adler began their business with a mobile cart in 2003. Their mini-chain has grown to include two restaurants — one each in Burlington and Montpelier — and a café in the Old North End, the Chubby Muffin. 

Continue reading "Skinny Pancake to Open Three Eateries at Burlington Airport" »

September 17, 2012

Call to Farmers: Mad River Valley’s Bragg Farm for Sale


If you dream of pulling brilliant orange baby carrots and candy-striped chioggia beets from a loam of your own, read on.


The Vermont Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization, has recently purchased the one-of-a-kind Bragg Farm of Fayston. This scenic and historic farm, nestled among the Green Mountains, including Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen and Lincoln Peak, was a dairy enterprise until 1973.

Now, through the VLT’s Farmland Access Program, the farm will be sold to a qualified, experienced farmer at its agricultural value. The new farmer will be chosen based on a variety of criteria.

Continue reading "Call to Farmers: Mad River Valley’s Bragg Farm for Sale" »

September 14, 2012

Savage Gardens' Dilly Beans

Just sharing a cute picture to help you start your day. This is the brand-new label for North Hero farm Savage Gardens' dilly beans, courtesy of farmer Amanda Gervais, who is also a talented designer.

Why the quirky drawing? "Dilly beans are pretty silly," says Gervais.

Dilly beans

September 12, 2012

Bite Into Our New Blog!

CevicheThe Seven Days food writers live to eat, not the other way around. That means that at any given moment, we're probably tasting something we want to recommend — or warn you about. And it's our job to know about new restaurants, dishes, chefs. Through Bite Club, you can get that info as soon as we track it down. In other words, you can get it while it's hot. 

Alice and I are excited to collect all of our food content here on the brand-new Bite Club blog. Our staff blog, Blurt, came to be a rather serious place for pithy posts about food news we've stumbled across, a photo of something amazing we've eaten, a lament for some axed menu item, or a trailer for a new food film. 

On the Bite Club blog, we can roam free. Check in each weekday not only for Alice Eats and Grazing but for Vermont restaurant, foodie entrepreneur and ag news, recipes, and links to the sometimes-strange, sometimes-vital food and drink content we find both locally and on the interwebs. Come and get it!

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