VPR Cafe

Sunday 10:45 a.m. on VPR

Credit VPR

The VPR Café is a weekly feature that's all about Vermont food and the people who grow it, prepare it and love it.

VPR's Ric Cengeri talks with food writers from Seven Days and Vermont Life food editor Melissa Pasanen. They share stories from the farms, kitchens and eateries of Vermont that connect our communities.

Ryan Mercer / Burlington Free Press

While many are intrigued by the idea of growing vegetables at home, the care and maintenance required can be a turn off.  Finding or remember the joy of past seasons can help you avoid being overwhelmed by weeds or losing the drive get out into the dirt.

courtesy of Stowe Farmers Market

Starting this week, outdoor farmers markets will begin popping up across the state. Before you head out to the market, here are five tips to help you master farmers market shopping:

Gabe Dickens / Burlington Free Press

Vermont has cultivated a reputation for being a craft beer mecca. However, next door in New York also has a growing craft brewing scene.

Glen Russell / Burlington Free Press

A new space in Winooski called Incubator has a pretty simple idea: be a place for people to get creative with food.

Caleb Kenna / Burlington Free Press

Religious holidays play an important role in many foods traditions. We've talked about a number of them before but we have yet to discussed the Seder at Passover. Melissa Pasanen, a contributor to the Savovore Section of the Burlington Free Press spoke with a few Vermonters to learn more about how they celebrate Passover.

Candace Page / Burlington Free Press

Parsnips are an often overlooked root vegetable though in the past they were a staple of New England gardens.

"Parsnips are great because they're so sweet," said Candace Page, a contributor to the Savovore Section of the Burlington Free Press. "That can draw in an audience that might not like them otherwise."

Erin Siegal Mcintrye / Burlington Free Press

A few years ago, you wouldn't have been able to find a locally-made, corn tortillas in Vermont. Now there is not one, but two companies here devoted to making this Central American staple.

VPR Cafe: Vermont Common Crackers

Mar 25, 2016
courtesy of Lynda Corbett

The common cracker was a staple snack in New England during the 1800s. It was found in barrels at country stores and was often paired with cheddar cheese. The crackers were round, pale, hard and indestructible.

VPR Cafe: Hot Cross Buns

Mar 18, 2016
Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press

Hot cross buns are made from a rich, yeast-raised dough with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. They also usually contain currants, candied citrus peel and have a cross of the top which is traditionally made from a flour paste, though most hot cross buns made in America use a sweet icing.

Candace Page

Maple has been used in cooking for over a century and through the years the recipes using maple have changed.

Candace Page, a contributor to the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press, recently took a look at three contemporary cookbooks that highlighted the ways to bring maple into the kitchen. One book was Maple by Katie Webster, a Vermont-based recipe developer.  

Zach Stephens / Burlington Free Press

The Vermont Country Store in Weston began not as a brick and mortar establishment, but a paper one.

In 1945, when Vrest and Mildred Orton moved to Vermont to start a family, Vrest also decided to start a catalog. He printed the catalog in his garage and as it became popular, fans started asking if they could visit a store, which didn't exist. So, the Ortons bought a building and opened the Vermont Country Store.

Erin Siegal Mcintrye / Burlington Free Press

On the first Tuesday of March in Vermont, people gather to make decisions on their hometown issues. Town meeting day is a more than 200-year old tradition and along with the voting comes the tradition of  town meeting potluck lunches.

Erin Siegal McIntyre / Burlington Free Press

The Alchemist's Heady Topper is one of the most sought after and highly regarded beers in the world. The brewery, which was at first a brew-pub, was founded by  Jen and John Kimmich. John focuses on the brewing and Jen manages the business side of the operation.


Just in time for Valentine's Day, Melissa Pasanen, who writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press shares ideas from local restaurant chefs for creating a romantic dinner.

Glen Russell / Burlington Free Press

By the end of 2015, there were 50 breweries in Vermont. Tourists from across the country were making the journey to sample the numerous beers, including some of the best in the world.

Besides the beer tourists, people in the towns where these breweries were popping up, started to gather and just hang out at their town's local craft brewery.

HausOnThePrairie / iStock

In the winter, fresh salad greens can be hard to come by. 

Candace Page, a contributor to the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press say a new book outlines the surprisingly simple method for growing fresh greens inside.

Corey Hendrickson / Burlington Free Press

Nate and Jessie Rogers had a cow problem. The owners of Rogers Farmstead in Berlin brought the cows onto their farm to help keep the land healthy, but they didn't know what to do with all the milk.

Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press

Soup can seem like a basic dish, until you tuck into a beautiful, complex bowl of soup that warms you to the core.

Kevin Hurley / Burlington Free Press

Throughout summer and fall in Vermont you can go to farms and pick your own berries, cherries, apples, pumpkins and even potatoes.   

In late September, Chappelle's Vermont Potatoes in Williamstown opens their fields for the people to come and pick their own potatoes.

Glen Russell / Burlington Free Press

Vermont has the most breweries per capita, boasting 40 craft breweries in its boarders. While the adventurous beer enthusiasts might travel to all 40, throughout the state growler filling stations are popping up, allowing people to try a variety of beers without making a winding road trip through Vermont.