Vermont is known for its maple syrup and for good reason, but there is so much more to VT dining than just syrup and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Let’s take a look at a few of the exceptional things that we have perfected in the Green Mountain State. These items are a definite must eat when in Vermont!

Top 7 most delicious dishes you'll want to try in Vermont

#1 Maple Cream Pie

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Photo: Food Network

Hailing from Vermont, the largest producer of maple syrup in the US, maple cream pie is a sweet pie filled with a combination of maple syrup, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, milk, and heavy cream. The crust is usually made from butter, flour, sugar, salt, and often cream cheese.

The filling is poured into the pie crust, and the pie is then chilled. When served, it is recommended to serve each slice of pie with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

#2 Vermont Corn Chowder

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Photo: Tatse Atlas

Vermont corn chowder is a traditional dish made with a milk-based broth, corn, and other vegetables such as onions, peas, potatoes, and cabbage. The dish is usually enriched with strips of bacon and thickened with flour or Vermont cheddar cheese.

Chowder can be traced back to the 16th century, when it was considered a poor man's meal. The word chowder is derived from the French word chaudiere, referring to a vessel used by the French fisherman who made hearty fish stews by cooking fish with vegetables and milk.

Vermont corn chowder is praised as an ideal dish for late summer evenings when locally grown corn is at its peak.

#3 Chicken Pot Pie

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Photo: Betty Crocker

In most places, chicken pot pie is lidded with a pastry crust, but Vermonters top their chicken, gravy and vegetables with a quilt of biscuits. To try the authentic version, your best bet is booking a seat (early!) at a chicken pie supper like the one held every October at the Richmond Congregational Church, going strong for 70 years.

On the restaurant side, head to Penny Cluse Cafe, a beloved Burlington destination for eclectic comfort food since 1998, and order the chicken and biscuits, served over supremely flaky buttermilk biscuits.

Top 7 Best Things to do in Vermont

#4 Fiddleheads Soup

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Photo: Food Network

Vermonters know spring has finally arrived when the delicate, fiddlehead-shaped tops of certain species of ferns poke up in the woods. Fiddleheads were traditionally steamed, sauteed with butter or simply creamed.

In restaurants, they might be combined with mushrooms for a spring ragout, as they are at Mary’s at Baldwin Creek in Bristol, or married with perfectly seared scallops and other tender cusp-of-spring vegetables by the James Beard Foundation Award-nominated team at Misery Loves Co. in Winooski.

#5 Gilfeather Turnip

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Photo: Food Network

Recently named the Vermont state vegetable, this heirloom turnip variety is sweeter than most (likely due to some rutabaga influence in its ancestral line), and the town of Wardsboro honors the humble root with a whole festival every October.

There you can fill up a tray with everything from Gilfeather turnip soup to surprisingly good doughnuts made with turnip. Seasonally, the Four Columns Inn in nearby Newfane features Gilfeathers in the form of a velvety bisque or maybe in a rich gratin layered with Grafton Cheddar and local heavy cream.

#6 Farmstead Cheese

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Photo: Food Network

From renowned Jasper Hill Farm up in the Northeast Kingdom to Vermont Shepherd down in Westminster West, Vermont claims the highest number of cheese makers per capita, close to 50 at last count. Many craft cheese with the milk of their own animals, which makes them farmstead cheese makers.

The Vermont Cheese Council offers a map of cheese makers with visiting information. The repeat James Beard-nominated Hen of the Wood restaurants in both Waterbury and Burlington compose exquisite local cheese plates. In Brattleboro, try the Port, chocolate and cheese plate at Duo Restaurant.

#7 Pickled Eggs

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Photo: Nellie's Free Range Eggs

To get through the long, barren winter, Vermonters used to can and pickle everything they could fit in jars, including cucumber "tongue pickles" (made from overgrown cucumbers, the round ends resembling tongues), fruit and even eggs.

Large jars of pickled eggs can still be found sitting on some general store and deli counters, including the one at Gill's Delicatessen in Rutland, where they make their own vinegar-garlic version. Restaurant chefs have also taken to pickling eggs in creative ways, including a turmeric-tinted one served on the housemade pickle plate at Hired Hand Brewing Co. in Vergennes.

About Vermont

The state may be small and the farms might be even smaller, but the people from Vermont are strong, independent, and not to be trifled with. The tough and ever-changing land of steep hills and rocky soil has forced Vermont residents to reinvent the state’s food and drink industry time and time again, most recently by devoting efforts to growing some of the country’s best produce. And from the Ben & Jerry’s factory to the plethora of craft breweries to tour and the unbelievable excess of dairy (there’s one cow in Vermont for every 3.8 people) it’s basically a foodie’s dream come true.

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