Cook the Book: 'Dishing Up Vermont'

20090908-dishingupvermont.jpgI'm not sure most people can recall the state bird of Georgia but if you ask them what fruit is commonly associated with the state, "peach" should come out pretty fast. All states have strong ties with specific foods.

Maine has lobsters, Idaho claims spuds, Wisconsin is known for cheese. Some states are more blessed than others when it comes to sheer depth of local bounty. Vermont is one of those lucky states. Wonderful maple syrup is just a tiny fraction of what Vermont has to offer.

Vermont has been a pioneer in the local eating movement, especially with the formation of the Vermont Fresh Network back in the early 1990s. The goal of VFN was to bring farmers and chefs together, sans the middleman. In typical New England fashion, VFN operates on a series of "handshake agreements." In order for a restaurant to participate it must agree to work with at least three farms. The chefs have to visit the farms every once in a while to see where their food is coming from, and similarly, farmers have to deliver goods directly to the restaurants. This back-and-forth is a wonderful way to make sure everyone is involved in the process, literally from farm to table.

Over the years the network has expanded throughout the entire state. When dining in Vermont you can be sure that the majority of your meal is locally and sustainably produced (if the restaurant is a VFN member). No wonder Vermont has some pretty incredible food.

Tracey Medeiros has put together recipes from VFN farmers and restaurants in her new book, Dishing Up Vermont. Every recipe in Dishing Up Vermont is annotated with great anecdotes from the considerable time Medeiros spent getting to know the farmers, artisans, chefs, and inn owners featured in the book.

The recipes in Dishing Up Vermont aren't complicated because they don't have to be. Instead the success relies on getting the best ingredients. No need to fret if a shopping trip to Vermont isn't feasible—top quality produce from your local farmers' market will do just fine.

Win 'Dishing Up Vermont'

Everyday this week we will be sharing a recipe from Dishing Up Vermont with you. We'll be featuring some great end of summer dishes, Black Trumpets and Sweet Corn in Tarragon Cream Sauce and Grafton Squash Casserole as well as a few classics with an added Vermont accent, such as Maple Crème Caramel and a Vermont Croque Monsieur

Thanks to the good folks over at Storey Publishing, we are giving away five (5) copies of Dishing Up Vermont this week. All you have to do is what's great to eat from your state in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, September 14 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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