The rest of the country has yet again swooned over Vermont’s top-shelf, mouth-watering grub: This month, 15 local food producers were selected as finalists in a San Francisco-based competition that honors ethics as well as deliciousness.
As expected, celebrated cheeses and maple delights from the Green Mountain State are in the running for blue ribbons from the San Francisco-based Good Food Foundation.
But so are elixers, grains, jams, honey, cider and pickles.
Those delectables are now vying for recognition among 351 other finalists cooked up by what the foundation calls producers who are “stubbornly swimming upstream” in American’s food system” — those who aim to deliver nourishment that is “tasty, authentic and responsible.”
Overall winners in the 12th Annual Good Food Awards will be announced in January.
The in-state finalists were announced earlier this month by Vermont Specialty Food Association, a trade group.
Vermont food finalists by category
Charcuterie: Agricola Meats (Panton) — Salame Classico
Confections: Rabble-Rouser Chocolate & Craft Co.(Montpelier) —Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar
Blake Hill Preserves (Windsor)— Basil & Blueberry Shrub, Spicy Jalapeno Shrub, and Wild Mint Shrub
Runamok Maple (Cambridge) — Orange Maple Bitters and Smoked Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup
Grains: Moon and Stars (White River Junction) — Moon and Stars Arepas
Honey: Republic of Vermont (Goshen) — Honeycomb
Pinup Pickles (Bristol) — Pickled Strawberries and Bread & Butters
The Tipsy Pickle (Winooski) — Double Garlic Lush Pickles, Hart Bread N Butter, and Maple Breakfast Stout Pickles
Spirits: Appalachian Gap Distillery (Middlebury) — Drumlin Champlain Valley Straight Rye Whiskey
Vermont’s strong showing is no surprise, and a “ringing endorsement” of local producers’ values, wrote Erin Sigrist, executive director of Vermont Specialty Food Association.
“Applicants undergo a rigorous review process and must meet specific criteria; including proven efforts in equity and inclusion, social and environmental responsibility, and transparency in supply chain practices,” Sigrist wrote in a news release.
For folks curious about other states’ offerings (and how to find them), the Good Food Awards online pop-up shop will be open through Nov. 14.
Contact reporter Joel Banner Baird at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Vermont’s top food and drinks reach finals in 12th Annual Good Food Awards