Kick off the Boots and Slap on a Bib, It's Chow Time
Let's do a sensory exercise.
You're de-booting in the parking lot after a long, hard-riding day at your favorite Vermont resort. It's March. The sun is shining brightly, giving you warmth on an otherwise crisp and chilly day. Your belly is rumbling, calling out for a fill-up. It's time for an early evening supper, Vermont-style. You climb in the car and start driving, eager to chow your way across the state.
Lucky for you, March is primetime for sugaring season in the Green Mountain State: warm days and cool nights encourage the sap to flow. Small, family-owned maple syrup farms dot the Vermont map like freckles, each with its own rich history. There's the Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock- owned and operated by Betsy Luce. She grew up in the plain white farmhouse that now serves as the gift shop and tasting parlor for her cheeses, jams, mustards and, of course, maple syrup. Faurther south in Wardsboro, you'll find sixth-generation farmer Brent Newell hand-collecting raw sap from his lot of 1,800 buckets. The Newell Hill Farm is his pride and joy: a 140-acre sugarbush that has been continually operating since 1850.
It's springtime, so Vermont's many microbreweries tap their seasonal ales in celebration of warming temps and lengthening days. Long Trail Brewery, just a stone's throw from Killington Resort in Bridgewater Corners, is pouring Belgian White at its pub. If you're lucky, you may even catch an early unveiling of the summery Hefeweizen brew.
Driving along the winding state roads, you see cows. Lots of cows. There... that dairy farm on the right? Odds are it's a member of Cabot Creamery, a cooperative made up of 1,200 farmer owned dairies across New England. And that cow lazily chewing a clump of grass, staring as you drive by? It's responsible for some of the world's finest cheddar cheese. Visit the Cabot Annex Shop on Route 100 in Waterbury, minutes from Stowe Mountain Resort, and you can sample each and every award-winning cheddar Cabot makes, from the Tomato-Basil cheddar to the best in class, hand-blended Private Stock.
Still have room for more grub and grog? Keep driving. No matter where you are in Vermont, from the furthest reaches of the Northeast Kingdom near Jay Peak to the quirky towns like Brattleboro in the southeast corner near Mount Snow, your taste buds will find a spot to pull up a chair, slap on a bib and dive in.