Food News

Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival a must for foodies, localvores

Imagine over 200 Vermont cheeses—ranging from hard to find cheeses such as the Sage Sheep Farm “Sterling,” to well-loved favorites like Cabot’s clothbound cheddar—under the same tent with freshly baked artisan bread, locally-made chocolates, and a crisp glass of chardonnay from one of Vermont’s up and coming vineyards. The annual Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival is coming up on July 22 and it’s one summer event foodies and localvores will not want to miss.

In addition to endless rows of glorious cheese, there is a cheesemaking demonstration and a live cooking show that are free with admission. The two seminars—“Vermont Wine and Cheese Pairing” and “How Cheese Works”—require a separate $45 ticket, and are well worth the price of admission.

The Festival was started by Allison Hooper of Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery as a way to celebrate Vermont’s diverse group of cheesemakers. Held on the picturesque shores of Lake Champlain at Shelburne Farms, the sell-out event attracts cheese fans from around the country. Tickets are available at while they last!

Blast is proud to be a sponsor of the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival.

Featured Recipes No-bake

Burrata and Grilled Peaches

This recipe comes from Maplebrook Fine Cheese and our friends at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, which Blast is proud to sponsor!

There are few cheese makers in the U.S. that make Burrata. Fortunately, you need look no further than Maplebrook Farm in Bennington, Vermont. They craft the best version you will find anywhere. Enjoy the Burrata and grilled peaches with a glass of Pinot Noir or a pint of light, crisp Pilsner.

We’re going to classify this as a dessert, but it can be an appetizer or entree or really whatever you want it to be!


  • 4 medium-sized peaches
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon(s) honey
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 pinch(es) black pepper


  1. Let the Burrata come to room temperature before serving. Remove from the brine, blot dry with a paper towel, and place on a serving platter.
  2. Prepare the peaches and put into a bowl. Put the olive oil, honey, cinnamon, and garlic in a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave on high heat for 20 seconds. Stir the lemon juice, and half the mint into the olive oil mixture to combine. This is a temporary emulsion so stir it together quickly an instant before pouring it on the peaches. Add half of this mixture to the peaches and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Scrub your grill with a wire brush, and spray with cooking oil, or wipe it with a paper towel moistened with cooking oil before lighting it. Preheat the grill to high heat. If you are using charcoal, the coals should be glowing. Start the peaches cut side down, since the peaches are quartered there are 2 cut sides. Grill for 2½ minutes, turn to the other cut side and cook for a further 2½ minutes. Turn the peaches so they are skin side down and baste with some of the sauce so that it pools in the center of the peaches. Cook for a further 7 or 8 minutes, or until the peaches are pretty soft, but still retain their shape.
  4. Surround the Burrata with the grilled peaches. Pour the remaining liquid over the Burrata, and sprinkle with the remaining mint and a few grinds of black pepper. For serving implements provide both a small sharp knife and a spoon. Serve with crackers or torn pieces of sourdough bread and a pile of napkins.

Heaven in Vermont Grilled Cheese

This recipe comes from Cabot and our friends at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, which Blast is proud to sponsor!


  • 1 tablespoon Cabot Salted Butter
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, preferably organic
  • 4 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, sliced
  • 6 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Directions

    1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat.
    2. Top two bread slices with cheese and bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup and press remaining bread slices on top.
    3. Transfer to skillet and cook slowly until golden on underside, reducing heat if needed. Turn and cook until sandwiches are golden on second side and cheese is melted.

Vermont Creamery Toasted Bijou Salad

This article comes from our friends at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, which Blast is proud to sponsor!


  • 4 leeks, the white and light-green section only, cut in half lengthwise and washed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Bijou, cut in half horizontally
  • 8 slices French baguette, ¾ inch thick
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed, and spun
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half


  1. Pat dry and toss leeks with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes until tender but not mushy! Let the leeks cool, then chop thinly and put in a medium-size bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing. Mix together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and leeks, and let sit for 4 hours to 1 week.
  3. Put a medallion of the Bijou, rind facing up, on each baguette piece and place under the broiler until the cheese is soft to a little runny. The rind should be slightly golden (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Serve immediately over mixed greens tossed in the leek vinaigrette and the tomatoes.