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Green Mountain Grub: The Best Things to Eat in Vermont

By: Melissa Pasanen

There’s more than maple in this outdoorsy New England state.

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Greatest Meals in the Green Mountain State

A leader in the farm-to-table movement, Vermont treasures its agricultural heritage and working landscape. From maple sugarhouses to hillsides dotted with black-and-white cows, the state is full of foods that are raised, crafted, caught and foraged locally. Iconic food and drink includes classic New England recipes with nods to the native Abenaki people and to Quebec up north. At the same time, a new generation of chefs has become known for fresh takes on traditional ingredients like heirloom cornmeal, venison and fiddlehead ferns.

Illustration by Hello Neighbor Designs

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Photo: Melissa Pasanen

Apple Pie (with Cheddar)

Like many Vermonters, multigeneration apple orchardist Ray Allen believes “Apple pie without the cheese is like a hug without the squeeze." And Allen knows apple pie. The Allenholm Farm apple orchard in South Hero has been in his family since 1870, and he’s prepared the very flaky crust for each of the 2,000-plus pies annually sold at the orchard since 1990, when his wife dared him to perfect a pie recipe. New Englanders also believe in pie for breakfast, and, at 80, Allen has sure earned his slice.

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Photo: Melissa Pasanen

Chicken Pot Pie

In most places, chicken pot pie is lidded with a pastry crust, but Vermonters top their chicken, gravy and vegetables with a quilt of biscuits. To try the authentic version, your best bet is booking a seat (early!) at a chicken pie supper like the one held every October at the Richmond Congregational Church, going strong for 70 years. On the restaurant side, head to Penny Cluse Cafe, a beloved Burlington destination for eclectic comfort food since 1998, and order the chicken and biscuits, served over supremely flaky buttermilk biscuits.

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Photo: Prohibition Pig

Aged Cheddar

Vermont Cheddar has been recognized as among the best in the world. At Cabot Creamery, Grafton Village and Shelburne Farms, sample and watch the process. For topnotch grilled cheese, try the seasonal cart at Shelburne Farms' historic farm barn or head to the MKT cafe in Grafton for a daily grilled cheese like three-year Cheddar, apples and ham. The iconic Vermont Country Store's Weston location has a huge, traditional general store wheel of Cheddar and serves creamy mac and cheese next door at their restaurant. Prohibition Pig in Waterbury is known for creative mac and cheese, but the basic made with Cabot Clothbound needs no adornment.

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