A couple weekends ago I was at the Vermont Cheese Fest and it was amazing! It was the fifth annual fest (my second trip!). This year was different from previous ones since there was only one line to enter. Previously, you could order tickets for just cheese or cheese and wine. This year everyone was able to taste everything offered and I think this helped the lines. The set-up of the barn was also altered slightly so that aisles were wider. No claustrophobia!
The weather was beyond perfect for the fest and I was ready to eat and drink and just enjoy myself. There was cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. There were also chocolates, caramels, jams and wines.
Here is a run-down of my favorites:
Big Picture Farm. They make amazing goats-milk caramels and my favorite happens to be the chai caramels.
Daily Chocolate. They bring their barks to the festival but have a storefront in Vergennes, VT. My favorite bark is the Lemon Lavender Bark. I never thought of the combination but it just belongs together. When I smell lemon + lavender I find my happy place. Who could ask for more?
Eden Vineyard. Any and all of their ice cider wines. My favorite was the Windfall Orchards Blend but ended up picking up the Heirloom and Northern Spy (the last wasn’t available by the time I went to try them and I mixed up the two others).
Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery. The more amazing butter ever. If you are going to put one type of butter on your bread for the rest of your life it had better be the VT Butter and Cheese Sea Salt Butter. I should mention that their cheese are amazing as well. Cremont, Bonne Bouche, Bijou and Coupole are all delicious but I think that Bonne Bouche is my favorite. Yes, it looks like brains but I ignore the part of my brain telling me to not eat the wrinkled cheeses. I’ll try any (goat) cheese that involves vegetable ashes. Those tend to be my favorites. Cremont comes in as a close second.
Shelburne Farms. The farm makes cheddar. Favorite cheese from Shelburne? I wish I could tell you but I can’t decide between the clothbound and smoked. The one I tend to pick up is the 2-year cheddar. It is the most flexible for when I am using the cheese in day to day life.
Blythedale Farm. Brie and Jersey Blue. I don’t normally go for blues but this one was divine. Same thing goes for their brie.
Mt. Mansfield. Inspiration. Loved the presentation made by the owner at the cheese fest. He made you slow down and smell the roses. Well, cheese to be more exact. No cheese unless it was specially cut for you and given with the story of how it was made. Greatly appreciated it.