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Fromage Friday: Vermont Cheesemakers Festival Preview

Posted Jul 31 2009 12:00am

fromagefridaysLike a lot of people my finances are a little tight this year so I’ve had to forgo a big vacation (although going to visit my parents was a nice getaway).  Because of this I’ve been cherishing the day trips I’ve been taking with boyfriend and my girlfriends.  Thankfully there are so many interesting attractions in New England that it’s possible to take a lot of zip trips on a budget.  This August my boyfriend and I have a five day trip to Vermont planned with the cornerstone being the Vermont Cheese Festival.  Thanks to Foodbuzz I was able to secure a press pass although the event was so affordable I probably wold have bought tickets anyway.  My boyfriend and I are both food lovers and tend to plan our trips around food.  We’re planning on going to the Pacific Northwest next year and when I showed my boyfriend a guidebook he asked if we could just string the wine and cheese day trips together to form our vacation.  Yep.  That’s why I love him.

Various Cheese 2 SunnyIf you’re a cheese lover and live a reasonable distance from Burlington, Vermont the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival is the place to be be on August 23.  The event will be hosted by the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, and the Vermont Cheese Council, and will take place at Shelburne Farms, near Burlington.  For only $20 you can sample over 100 types of cheeses from 40 different cheesemakers, a variety of locally produced wines and beers, and several other artisan foods, including maple syrup, honey, chocolates, baked goods, and more.  Yum.   I’ve tried many of the cheeses by these producers before in my Cheese Certificate course so I have no doubt they will be delicious. There will also be four tasting seminars including how to pair cheeses with wine, beer, and other foods.  These are an additional cost of $45, but are still a relative bargain compared to seminars I’ve seen offered through my local adult education and cooking school.

GoatsThe preceding day – Saturday, August 22 – will also be Vermont Artisan Food Open Studio Day with more than 20 artisan producers offering special tours and tastings for those like me who want to make a whole weekend out of it.  The Festival will only be open to the first 1,000 people who register so to get your tickets head to


Now I’ve just got to decide which of the seminars to sign up for.  I’m thinking Cheesemaking 101 might be fun to further expand my knowledge and contrast against what I’ve learned in books.  If anyone else ends up attending as well let me know.  It would be fun to meet up.  I’ll also be posting from the festival so you can live vicariously through me.

Cannot make it to Vermont for the 23rd but still want to taste cheese?  The Vermont Cheese Council also offers a Vermont Cheese Trail Map.  That’s my kind of trail.

When it comes to quick day trips, where are your favorite places to go?

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