Supporting local food used to feel like an obligation. In the Mad River Valley these days, it’s a delightful privilege, thanks to the dizzying success of the fully-flowered locavore scene here. Valley restaurants, not coincidentally, are better than ever, but if this is an especially good year to gather local provisions and make your own culinary magic back at the condo, stocking up will be an enjoyable cinch.
Mad River Valley Grocers
The Valley has always been blessed to have Mehuron’s, an eclectic, independent almost-supermarket. It’s well-stocked with local products, including meats from nearby Neill Farm, and was renovated this year. Just across the street is the Mad River Taste Place, which specializes in all things local, especially Vermont cheeses. Down in the village, the Warren Store is as beloved as ever, part classic Vermont general store, part ski-town gourmet emporium.
Local Vermont Meat
Kenyon’s Hardware and Farm Supply is worth a visit just for the real-Vermont farm vibe, and you can buy meat raised on-premises, including a little-known breed of white cattle called British White Park. Compare and contrast that with the Scottish Highland beef up at Northridge Highlands Farm, where you can buy direct from the barn.
Mad River Baked Bread
Red Hen Bakery, widely available, isn’t quite a Valley product, but close (located in Middlesex, just downstream), and plenty of foodies consider it Vermont’s best loaf. But Waitsfielders will tell you the bread at Green Rabbit—slow-cool fermented and naturally leavened—is even better.
Famous Vermont Cheese
Check out the Von Trapp Farmstead’s pungent, washed-rind Oma, made by a branch of the Vermont-celebrity-family that long ago settled in Waitsfield Common. Oma is a pungent, single-herd washed-rind made from a buttery mix of Jersey, Ayreshire, and Normandie milk.
More Vermont Content
This article was originally printed as a part of the feature “A New Era” in the December 2020 issue of SKI Magazine.