We are very proud to be based in a state that values high quality food. We routinely top the lists for “best-of” beer, our maple products are renowned, and we produce more excellent fruits and vegetables for a northern state than you might expect. But we are exceptionally proud of the cheese that is churned out in this pastured heaven.
This year Vermont won over 40 awards from the American Cheese Society, across multiple categories, including best in show.
Made from goat, cow, and sheep’s milk, we crushed it at the competition and so to celebrate our ag cousins we decided to pair our honey’s with award-winning Vermont cheeses. We could easily have come up with 40 ideas for all of the winners but thought we would winnow it down to 4. If you do not have access to Vermont cheeses (look online) we offer some nationally available substitutes.
Jasper Hill’s Whitney won top honors (Best in Show) at the awards so how could we not include it? This cheese is meant to be melted like raclette so a grilled cheese with honey was just the ticket. You can use our rich, malty Knotweed honey with it to counter the nutty flavor of the cheese or you can use one of our hot honeys for some kick. The fried sage is easy to make in the same pan and adds a nice, earthy flavor.
Ingredients: Sliced Bread, Jasper Hill’s Whitney (substitute with gruyere or raclette), several leaves of fresh sage, Runamok Knotweed Honey, butter
Slice or grate enough of the cheese to cover one side of a piece of bread. Melt the butter in a small, non-stick pan. Put a few of the sage leaves in and brown for 20 seconds on each side. Remove and put on top of the cheese on the bread. Put the other slice of bread on top and put in the pan on medium heat. Cover the pan so the cheese gets nice and melty before the bread burns. Check after a few minutes and flip. Let it cook until all of the cheese is melted. Serve on a plate with honey on the side for drizzling and dipping.
Burrata is the “it food” of the year, showing up on menus and Instagram feeds everywhere. So to win second place for Best Burrata is like winning runner up for Wimbledon – you know it is among the best. It is indeed gorgeous with its delicate outside and creamy inside. We decided to keep it simple and make a honey vinaigrette to go with the Burrata and Tomato Salad.
Ingredients: Maplebrook Burrata (substitute any burrata), tomatoes, arugula and other greens, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Runamok honey, dijon mustard, salt and pepper, chives or other fresh herbs.
Place the burrata on a salad plate and surround it with sliced tomatoes and crisp greens. Make the vinaigrette by whisking the remaining ingredients together. Drizzle over the salad and serve.
Cabot’s Triple Cream Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt won first place for Best Flavored Yogurt. Oh, man is this stuff good – like eating melty ice cream – and it is fun to say fast. It goes well with almost all of our honeys but but we really liked it with our Hibiscus Infused for that extra tangy kick. Prep is easy peasy: put some yogurt in a bowl, add your favorite fruit and top with Hibiscus Infused Honey.
Vermont Creamery’s Classic Goat Cheese won 3rd place for best fresh, rindless goat cheese, though we personally feel it comes in first every year. This is an easy app to serve in late summer and fall when fresh figs are available. If they are not, you can easily sub in another fruit, either fresh or dried. We drizzled our Lapsang Souchang on it to get that smoky sweetness but you can also use Beekeeper’s Cut (pictured here), or any of our other honeys, including hot ones.
Ingredients: baguette, olive oil, Vermont Creamery goat cheese, fig, salt, honey
Slice a baguette and drizzle a light coating of olive oil. Place in an oven at 400 and toast for a few minutes until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Spread a spoonful of goat cheese on each toast and top with a slice of fig. Sprinkle a little salt and then drizzle honey on everything. Serve immediately.
Find a complete list of American Cheese Society 2022 competition winners here.