The VFN Top 10!December 9, 2015
Keep it local and delicious this holiday season and give the gift of Vermont food!
From tasty treats to memorable experiences for the whole family--we've got you covered.
Without further ado...
1. A gift of Vermont Cheese is always welcome. May we make a few suggestions?
- Jasper Hill's creamy Harbison (the recent winner of "Best Cheese in America" at the World Cheese Awards)
- Alpine-inspired fromage from Karim Farm or Cobb Hill
- Divine blues made by Dawn at Boucher Family Farm
- Classic aged cheddar from Shelburne Farms, Grafton or Cabot
- Blythedale Farm's Vermont Brie and Camembert
- Fresh and tangy, aged and nutty, or ashy and wrinkly (oh how we love you, Bonne Bouche) goat's milk cheeses from Boston Post Dairy and Vermont Creamery
Search by type of cheese, milk or farm at the Vermont Cheese Council to find the perfect match for everyone on your list, or shop today at a VFN market or co-op - they carry products from dozens of VT Cheesemakers - find a market here!
2. Send your loved one to a Cooking Class, on a Culinary Retreat or Farmstay - choose a spot near you, or make it a weekend trip!
Cafe Provence, Brandon - Culinary Retreats and Classes
City Market/Onion River Coop, Burlington - Classes
The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa, Essex - Culinary Retreats and Classes
Green Mountain Girls Farm, Northfield - Farm Stays and Classes
Healthy Living, South Burlington - Classes
Inn at Weathersfield, Perkinsville - Culinary Retreats and Classes
King Arthur Flour, Norwich - Classes
Kitchen at the Store, Waitsfield - Classes
Liberty Hill Farm, Rochester - Farm Stay
Mary's at the Inn at Baldwin Creek, Bristol - Culinary Retreats and Classes
3. Thrill the cider enthusiast, aspiring sommelier, and amateur mixologist on your list with the award winning Meads, Spirits, Wines and Ciders of the Green Mountain State. Pick your poison....
Gin - The Spirit of Vermont holiday gift pack from Caledonia Spirits features Bar Hill Gin, Tom Cat Barrel-Aged Gin and a jar of raw Caledonia Honey
Whiskey - Mad River Distillers Corn and Rye whiskey is hand-crafted from local, organic, heirloom grain and corn.
Vodka - Distilled from Vermont maple, milk, and apple, each Vermont Spirits' vodka is reminiscent of its origin while remaining incredibly smooth.
Unique Vermont Ciders:
Citizen Cider's Northern Spy - Made with Happy Valley Orchard Northern Spy apples alone, this single varietal cider is indubitably a showcase of one proud apple.
Champlain Orchard's Apple Cranberry Hard Cider - This cider has a lovely blush color, delicate flavors, and a tart finish. A perfect blend of their Champlain Valley apples and Vermont cranberries.
Eden Aperitif Ciders - Eden's Orleans Herbal and Bitter is a must-have pair for any cider or cocktail enthusiast!
Shacksbury's 2014 Arlo - Featuring a blend of eating apples from Sunrise Orchards and European bittersweet apples, Arlo is aromatic and dry with notes of grapefruit alongside the apple.
Woodchuck Local Nectar - Light, crisp, semi-dry, and 100% Vermont apples - a pure reflection of Vermont's fantastic apple crop.
Wine of All Kinds:
Boyden Valley Glogg - Glogg is a mulled spice wine that's wonderful served warm over the holidays, or on any chilly night.
East Shore Vineyard's Frontenac Rosé - This Grand Isle grown rosé is bold and lively--think ripe raspberries, dark cherry and spice with a crisp acidity.
Fresh Tracks Vineyard and Winery Freerider Red - Freerider Red is a dry, light-bodied and smooth wine that possesses delicious berry flavors. Inspired by the exhilarating joy of skiing, Freerider Red is a perfect gift for the powder chaser in your life!
Lincoln Peak 2014 Marquette - This is sure to please any wine aficionado on your list - their 2013 Marquette just won best red at the 2015 International Cold Climate Competition!
Shelburne Vineyard 2014 Celestial Louise Sparkling White - Ring in the New Year with this award-winning bubbly!
Snow Farm Vineyard Seyval Banc - This dry white features apple, pear and melon notes with a smooth finish.
Artesano Poets Mead - The Mead of Inspiration is reputed to give poets their ability to understand the secrets of the world. This one is brewed with pure Vermont honey and aged in American bourbon barrels. Also, check out Artesano's line of artisan vinegars - foodies on your list will rejoice!
4. Send a Foodie Gift Baskets directly to those in need of a Vermont care package! Here are some of our favorites:
Best of Vermont Breakfast Gift Cube - No host should have to worry about breakfast after cooking a holiday feast (and cleaning) - give them the gift of a delicious, easy morning after with this breakfast gift cube.
Hooker Mountain Farm Gift Boxes - Delicious wood-fired maple syrup, fresh-ground flint cornmeal and the finest Cabot cheese artfully packed into a reusable kraft box. (Roy's Calais Flint, an heirloom strain of Abenaki bicolor flint corn raised and milled on-farm, is known for its outstanding flavor and makes the most delicious and hearty griddlecakes, polenta and cornbread.)
Shelburne Farms Gift Packages - Farmstead Cheddar, perfectly paired with Vermont sourced accompaniments! A perfect gift and a great cause - supporting Shelburne Farms' educational outreach!
5. Mushrooms - that's right, local mushrooms! A mushroom growing kit from MoTown Mushrooms is a GREAT gift for kids or gardeners with the wintertime blues. You can also buy Vermont-grown, dried mushrooms from Terrafunga online here.
7. Support your favorite local restaurant and gift a memorable night out with a Restaurant Gift Card! (Throw in some free babysitting and it's an extra special gift.) Browse VFN's Gold Barn Restaurants to find the perfect spot!
*Special Offer - Enjoy an intimate dinner party with your friends! Buy $100 worth of gift cards for The Backroom in Pittsfield, VT, and get a $25 gift card for yourself! Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
8. Vermont Specialty Foods are, of course, great gifts. Try Wood's Cider Mill's Boiled Cider, Nitty Gritty Grain Co., Fat Toad Farm Caramel, pesto from Windstone or Bella Farm, Vermont Fresh Pasta, Full Sun Company culinary oils, honey from a local apiary, and anything maple!
9. Wrap up some tickets to an upcoming Special Dinner - here are a few to consider:
January 23rd - WhistlePig "Whole Hog" Spirits Dinner at Mary's at the Inn at Baldwin Creek
Saturdays from January 2 - March 5, 2016 - Snowcat Dining Excursion at Okemo Resort
Select Saturdays, year-round - Cliff House Summit Series at Stowe Mountain Resort
Check out DigInVT.com for a statewide listing of Vermont farm and food events.
10. For the athlete in your life, plan an Adventurous Winter Outing at the Strafford Organic Creamery, Blueberry Hill Inn, Craftsbury Outdoor Center, or Trapp Family Lodge for some nordic skiing and snowshoeing.