Oh Vermont. If you have not been to this tiny state yet, GO! Its gorgeous and green and they have bottles & bottles of maple syrup! And if thats not enough to sell you, the Ben & Jerry’s factory is a short driving distance from the Cabot cheese factory. So pack your Lactaid folks, lets get in the car and go East!
My family and I stopped at a small road side shop called Stowe Maple Products that sold pure Vermont maple syrup and other mapley delicious delights. The owner was on hand to give us samples and educate me with my 14,000 questions. What I learned & found to be quite helpful: Maple syrup is like a narcotic.
- Grade A Maple Syrup has a light, medium and dark variety. What makes their color differ is from the time they were harvested.
- The harvesting season is only about 4-5 weeks, the earlier its harvested the lighter it is in color.
- Grade B Maple Syrup is harvested very late in the season and is best used in baking or cooking as it has a hardier and more robust flavor. While the Grade A variety is best used for drowing your pancakes (and yourself) in.
- The nutrient content in Grade A and Grade B are the same.
Maple Mustard Salad Dressing
Whisk together 1 tsp dijon mustard, a heavy splash of apple cider vinegar and 2 tblsp maple syrup. Whisk in 2 tblsp olive oil. Add a pinch of sea salt & pepper. Toss over a fresh spinach salad with blueberries and thinly sliced red onion.
Our next stop the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Of course we HAD to take the tour, however campy & brief, it was quite educational and with the promise of an exclusive flavor sample (strawberry with white chocolate chunks) one would gladly wait in a tourist shop with walls painted like a the posterior of a black and white cow. Post tour we move on to the ice cream store. Still full from my early morning shots of maple syrup I decide how many scoops (thats right plural) I should order. I go with a scoop of my all time fave Chunky Monkey and a scoop of the 7 Layer Coconut. A genius tropical pairing! You can take the girl out of the island but you can’t take the ……..
This place is like Disney World of the north. Who wouldn’t want to take a photo in this thing?! Our flavor…….Szunyogh-Murphy Swirl. A creamy vanilla base , with Hungarian paprika, coconut flakes and and Irish Creme Swirl. What’s your family flavor??
With our blood sugars at full throttle we speed onto Maine and hit up a tucked away lobster shack right on the water. Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster Company in South Freeport, Maine is THE place to get your whole lobster lunches and lobster rolls. They have been featured on Rachel Ray and were voted one of the top 10 lobster shacks in Maine. Fishing boats lazily bobbing and birds searching for fall out accompany us on our lobster eating adventure. The vibe is laid back and with no silverware given (the way I like it!) we dig into this seaside bounty.
Before this trip I had never eaten a lobster roll in my life. And truth be told this was actually the main reason I packed my bags & left my house. A lobster roll aficionado and friend said “Don’t even bother unless the bun is toasted!” And indeed this was. A toasty roll, layered with lettuce and as you can see, very large, succulent pieces of lobster bathed in a light mayo dressing. As you can imagine this was well worth leaving the house for!
This guys life was not taken in vain, oh no, every bit of him was enjoyed. And never mind the butter dripping down my chin onto my t-shirt, it can stay there….I’m going in for more.
Lessons learned or confirmed from this trip:
- Even though people seem to be in romantic relationships with their Iphones it proved to be very helpful in directional assistance.
- Eating local is where its at! Maple syrup, ice cream, blueberries and lobster…need I say more?
- My family is pretty functional! We enjoyed each others company.
- Hot tubs are awesome.
- I still don’t need silverware.