The Taste Trekkers conference I attended last weekend offered three different session times on mini-topics. I stuck with a New England theme, and focused on Lamb Butchering, Rum, and Vermont Ice Cider. While all the sessions were super interesting, Vermont Ice Cider was by far the most exciting. This is because the session included discussions and info on a tourist resource called Dig In Vermont. This is a non-profit organization affiliated with Vermont Fresh, connecting tourists with local producers and the restaurants supporting them. This amazing organization is GETTING IT DONE, people!
As a culinary tourist, I frequently want to do fun things like go to local breweries, wineries, or dairies when traveling. Basically, I want to find the funky, out-of-the-way places which make products I can’t get at home, and will educate me about how and why they make what they make. Then I want to eat or drink it. This is not as easy as it sounds, though. Frequently, the more publicized an outfit is, the larger it is, and the more likely it is that I can find their products at home. Also, it’s less likely that the local foodies frequent or patronize the larger outfits, which makes it harder to get follow-up recommendations.
Dig In has solved this problem. You log on to their site and can browse by region, product, or event. You can use premade trails or create your own. It is a comprehensive online resource connecting people to small, local producers and restaurants. It is fantastic! I’m already planning multiple trips based off the Dig In website. Every state or region should have this! To be a member, 75% of a vendor’s inventory must be from Vermont. This ensures that you are receiving local products that are representative of the region.
Definitely check out this awesome resource if you’re thinking of going to Vermont. Also, keep an eye out for Eden Ice Cider. This stuff is amazing. Especially the barrel aged Northern Spy. Pair it with an aged-cheddar and smoked ham panini slathered with bourbon molasses mustard. A heavenly fall meal.