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Vermont Speciatly Foods
Though our specialty and most of what you'll find in the future on this website is premium Vermont
maple sugar candy gifts and Chocolate-Maple FusionTM candies, I have to
say that we also love a few other items from Vermont that are not made by our merchants. Frankly, I love to BBQ, I'm a huge fan of Happy Hour
hors d'heouvres, and my girlfriend loves dessest treats. So....
You know it's Friday at our house when 4:00PM rolls around and the salsa comes out. It's HAPPY HOUR!
It's a quick snack food to bring out and go alongside hummus and veggies. All you need is a box of water crackers. But I don't settle for just any salsa, and I've tried a lot of them.
Whenever I'm in a specialty foods store, you can bet I'm headed for the salsa section. When I'm at home and entertaining friends, I like
to reach into the cupboard for my personal favorite... Granny Blossom's HOT Peach Salsa.
It's sweet peaches blending with the zip of jalapeno and the perfect salsa for people who like their food a little sweet with a little heat!
I also like to top my favorite fish with HOT Peach Salsa as well.
Vermont Harvest's Apple Rum Walnut Conserve
is a DELICIOUS, universal dessert spread that is wonderful on everything from bagels to water crackers. It's also a great "bargaining chip." Why?
Because my girlfriend loves this stuff, so when the BIG GAME is on and I want my mustard sardines on crackers with a cold pint of beer, she gets to indulge in
Apple Rum Walnut Conserve and crackers with a maple syrup martini. It's a WIN WIN!
Another way to enjoy Apple Rum Walnut Conserve during the winter is to warm it a little in a saucepan and pour it over vanilla ice cream.
Maple City Candy's Maple Walnut Fudge
is OFF-THE-CHARTS! And I mean that. I've had a lot of Vermont-made fudge in my day, and yeah, it was good. When I took the photography one
day for the holiday fudge page I got to sample the fudge made by Maple City Candy, and it was soo good that I couldn't stop
at one piece. I'm not a "sweets person" and tend to gravitate towards sardines and salty fish dips, but this fudge was awesome. I've only had one
fudge better, but that's my little secret... PSSST! Key Lime Fudge.
My next Vermont Top 10 is Gift Basket by Kim's Tropical Coconut Pancake Mix.
I love pancakes, and I love making pancakes. Admittedly I'm a little partial to the pancake mixes offered by
Gift Baskets by Kim because I'll let you in a secret... the tropical photo on the front of the package is a photo I took one morning in Key West, Florida.
But that's not the main reason I prefer this flavor of pancake mix. It's because they made sure the coconut flavoring was very robust. You can
smell coconut before you even open the package! And the cakes? Delicious! I add coconut shavings mainly for a visual garnish, but it's not necessary.
The Vermont maple syrup is the perfect complement of course. Now you can enjoy a tropical breakfast, even
if you're not on a tropical island.
Apple Fritter Mix - Coming Soon!
Helen Robb, owner of the Robb Family Farm & Sugarhouse of W. Brattleboro, Vermont, has
an absolutely delicious apple fritter recipe and I convinced her to make the mix available to PIECES OF VERMONT website customers. Helen's Apple Fritters are a
close second to the only other fritter I eat on a regular basis, and that's Conch Fritters in Key West, FL. When I'm up north though,
it's apple fritters all the way! They are simple to make and fun to share with friends for dessert. Serve with vanilla ice cream or dip them in powdered sugar or Vermont maple syrup
for an extra tasty treat!
OK, sometimes I need a break from pancakes so I opt for a bowl of all natural granola. Mountain Maple from Vermont's Woodstock Granola Co.
is the one I like best because it has the right combination of healthy ingredients - Whole grain oats, pure maple syrup, expeller pressed canola oil, dried wild blueberries, crystallized ginger,
cinnamon, and nutmeg. And, I like to also toss in a generous teaspoon of ground Flaxseed and
Naked® "blue machine"
superfood drink instead of milk for that high fiber, omega-3, antioxident punch. Now that's a power breakfast! Whao baby!! Eat this and you'll
want to leave the car at home and jog to work! Seriously though, between the granola, the Flaxseed, and the blueberry drink you've got a
VERY healthy breakfast.
For my #4 Vermont Top 10... Vermont Smoke and Cure's Summer Sausage.
I wasn't sure why I liked this sausage so much until I learned how the Vermont Smoke and Cure company makes it.
They allow the full 12 hour fermentation process to complete and reduce the pH of the sausage before cooking, rather than just adding acidifiers.
This slow process allows the flavor to develop slowly, resulting in a clean flavor with the characteristic "tang" of a traditional summer sausage.
And, the sausage is shelf stable (requires no refrigeration) for six months, until opened. So, it travels well in your pack or along with your
wine. U E!!!
Sugarbush Farm's Hickory & Maple Naturally Smoked Cheese
has a flavor that is both tasty and unique. It's not sharp like cheddar, but has a smooth taste that will remind you of those smells you experience when
visiting a maple sugarhouse or smokehouse. The cheese is smoked on their Vermont farm for 3 days, and that's what gives it all that flavor. It's an ideal
cheese to serve at dinner parties because it has a story (it's from Vermont and it's maple smoked) and because the flavor is subtle, unlike
sharp cheddar that may be too pungent for some tastes.
The Robb Family Farm in southern Vermont has been friends with the owners of Sugarbush Farm for generations. Helen Robb says,
"Charlie and I have always offered their cheeses and over the years and our customers keep coming back to order more,
especially the maple smoked, so we've never considered making
our own cheese. Why re-invent the wheel? Over the years Betsy and I have become good friends and we recommend her family's Vermont cheeses 100%."
Well, that says it all, but if I had to add one more thing it would be that whenever I've offered this cheese to friends, the love it! And if you'd
like a great recipe for Maple-Smoked BBQ Pizza, send me an email and I'd be glad to share it.
Classic Reserve Cheddar
is made by the Grafton Village Cheese Company and if you appreciate VERY SHARP CHEESE, this is the best! I discribe the flavor to people like this -
it's like the Greek pastry baclava, though it's extremely tasty you can eat one or maybe two pieces, but if you try a third, it's simply too much.
Same with this extra sharp cheddar. The taste is so pungent that after the first bite you're saying, "Wow, I'm going to eat the entire block," but trust me,
I serve Classic Reserve Cheddar with tart Granny Smith apples and a dry wine or Pale Ale beer. Oh! And did I mention that
has won 13 awards!
OK, my #1 Vermont Top 10 specialty food is...
Curtis' All American Southern Style Barbecue Sauce.
This is by far the best barbecue sauce I've ever tried. Why? Unlike most sauces that are mostly sugar, Curtis' sauce is made with vinegar, which gives it
a wonderful flavor that is delicious on everything from ham to ribs. My girlfriend and I even use it as a sauce for our BBQ pizza and it's outstanding! But
don't take our word for it, learn more about Curtis Tuff and his legendary Vermont roadside eatery,
For outstanding BBQ ribs; par boil some baby backs for 35-40 minutes, then cut the racks in half and place them into large zip lock bags with a generous
amount of Curtis' BBQ Sauce. Marinade over night in the refrigerator, turning the bags over once or twice. Then, the next day grill your ribs
over medium heat. Baste with additional Curtis' sauce as necessary. If you have an electric or propane grill, use hickory wood chips to impart a little smoky flavor.
Serve with baked beans, slaw, and/or Simple Corn Cakes, along with
Budweiser American Ale. Oh man, that's backyard or tailgate barbecuing
at it's best!