With Vermont’s deep agricultural roots and emphasis on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, it’s not surprising that there are many foods Vermont is known for.
Vermont’s dairy, apple, and maple industries dominate many of the foods on this list. Which isn’t surprising since Vermont is among the biggest producers of these products in the U.S.!
You’ll find some of the eleven foods on this list in other New England states but in most cases, they originate or are most popular in Vermont.
Here are the eleven foods Vermont is most known for:
Without a doubt, the #1 food Vermont is known for is maple syrup! It accounts for 40% of the United State’s production. The cool, moist climate of Vermont is ideal for maple trees, and the state has a large population of sugar maple trees, which are the primary source of sap used to make syrup. Vermont restaurants make ample use of this iconic ingredient by using it in a variety of dishes and drinks.
With nearly 700 dairy farms, it’s not surprising that Vermont is known for its cheese! Cabot Creamery, a dairy cooperative based in Vermont, produces a number of cheeses including cheddar and Monterey jack. You’ll also find a number of artisanal cheese makers in the state including Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont Creamery, Grafton Village Cheese Company, and Shelburne Farms.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
While not a specific food per se, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is most certainly a brand of food Vermont is known for. The company has been making unique ice cream flavors since 1978. It’s best known for mixing large dessert chunks into its ice cream flavors. Some of the company’s most popular flavors include Cherry Garcia, Half Baked, Phish Food, Americone Dream, and Chunky Monkey.
If it’s summertime, then it’s also Maple Creemee time in Vermont. You read that right – “creemee” as opposed to “creamy” refers to a soft specialty ice cream that’s – you guessed it – maple-flavored. It’s a treat that combines two of Vermont’s biggest agricultural industries – dairy and maple syrup – into one delicious treat.
Apple Cider Donuts
Fall in Vermont and all of New England for that matter means Apple Cider donut time. These small cake-like donuts only come out once a year and are typically available at farmer’s markets, local specialty stores or apple orchards. Apples and apple cider are also popular foods this time of year but apple cider donuts are a particular treat.
A dish that’s popular in Vermont is Boiled Dinner. This one-pot meal consists of a variety of root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, and onions, as well as cabbage and a cut of meat, such as corned beef or ham. The ingredients are simmered together in a large pot or Dutch oven with enough water or broth to cover everything until the meat is tender and the vegetables are fully cooked. The resulting broth is often served as a soup, and the meat and vegetables are served as the main course.
Vermont has a large population of deer, and venison is a popular meat in the state. It’s often prepared in stews, chilis, and other hearty dishes.
Apple Pie and Cheddar Cheese
A popular tradition in Vermont to eat apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on top. This combination of sweet and savory flavors is a beloved New England tradition, and Vermont is particularly well-known for it. The sharpness of the cheddar cheese complements the sweetness of the apple pie, making for a delicious and unique flavor combination. Some Vermonters even go so far as to say that apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a hug!
Vermont is widely regarded as one of the top craft beer states in the country. It’s home to many highly regarded craft breweries, including The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead Brewery, and Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Vermont is known for its focus on quality, small-batch brewing, and innovative beer styles.
With plentiful apple orchards in the state, it’s not surprising that a food Vermont is known for is apple cider. Both regular and hard ciders are popular fall beverages and can be found at orchards, farm stands, and in restaurants.
A food Vermont is known for is fried dough, a beloved treat that’s served at fairs and festivals and is sometimes called a “fry cake.” Essentially fried dough is just how it sounds – a dough made from basic ingredients such as flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast, that’s deep fried in oil. In Vermont, it’s typically served with powdered sugar or maple syrup.
About Kerry Flatley
Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.