Most of us know Vermont for its maple syrup and cheese. So familiar are we with (and fond of) the syrup that one of the state's largest producers of the stuff sells his entire crop to shops in Georgetown from the back of his truck -- in a single weekend, according to Jerome Kelley, Vermont's director of agricultural development.
So it's not unusual for most area food stores to carry the product. But where does one begin to search for Chunky Ketchup or maple cream or pasta from Vermont?
Only a handful of food shops carry more than the obligatory syrup and cheese, but if you don't mind a bit of legwork, Vermont's lesser-known staples can be found in the metropolitan area. And although several products have yet to make their debut here, that doesn't mean you have to foresake the taste of authentic Vermont staples. The state firms are more than happy to acquaint out-of-staters with their products through the mail.
Following is a partial listing of those food shops and markets that carry Vermont products:
* Bethesda Co-op 7945 McArthur Blvd. Cabin John, Md. 301-320-2530
The following Cherry Hill products are available: applesauce ($1.76/quart), maple syrup ($4.29/pint, $6.91/quart, $5.90/quart in bulk), maple cream (call for price), cranberry applesauce ($1.73/pint), apple butter ($2.57/quart), raspberry applesauce ($1.76/pint).
* Garfinckel's Throughout the area
Blanchard and Blanchard gift baskets available everywhere except Tysons location.
* Georgetown Coffee, Tea & Spice 1330 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 338-3801
Sells Blanchard and Blanchard mustards ($3.79/8 ounces), dessert toppings ($7.49/14 ounces), Chunky Ketchup ($3.99/12 ounces), glazes ($4.99/12 ounces) and marinades ($5.49/16 ounces). Also available are mustard and dessert samplers ($9.98 and $11.98 respectively), a selection of four 2-ounce jars.
* Larimer's 1727 Conn. Ave. NW. 332-3366.
Maple syrup ($3.29 for 8 1/2-ounces or $7.99 for 16-ounce tin), white cheddar cheese ($4.89/pound), cabot cheddar ($3.59/pound), Sunny Meadow (onion, cucumber and pepper) jellies ($2.99 for 11 ounces).
* Safeway Throughout the area
Shady Maple Farm Maple Syrup ($2.99/8 ounces), cabot cheddar cheese ($3.98/pound), mcintosh apples from Putney, Vt. (.79/pound).
* Someplace Special/Giant Gourmet 1445 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Va. 448-0800
Sam's Sugarhouse Maple Syrup ($4.59/8 ounces), cabot sharp cheddar ($3.50/8 ounces), white cheddar ($4.90/pound), and Blanchard and Blanchard sesame seed dressing ($3.69/8 ounces) and lemon pepper vinaigrette ($3.69/8 ounces). Giant's Rockville Pike store also carries extra aged (2 1/2 years) private stock cheddar.
* Sutton Place Gourmet 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW. 10323 Old Georgetown Rd. in Bethesda 363-5800 and 564-3100
In addition to a variety of Blanchard and Blanchard sauces and dressings and Vermont's Putney pasta (sold at Bethesda location), Sutton Place also carries Vermont cheddar ($4.99/pound), cabot cheddar ($4.99/pound), covered bridge cheddar ($4.99/pound), and Beemer maple syrup ($6.99/pint or $12.99/quart).
* Washington Park Gourmet 2331 Calvert St. NW. 462-5566
Putney pasta (call for price), Vermont cured ham ($6.59/pound), cheddar cheese ($5.69), maple syrup in bulk (call for price).
Here is a sampling of Vermont specialties available by mail order:
Herb Patch products: Includes salt-free party dips, herbal cranberry tea and "the old-fashioned moth repellants" -- a blend of herbs and spices. For a complete catalogue, write to: Penny Royal Place, 72 East Main St., Westborough, Mass. 01581.
Vermont honey: Available in five-pound quantities for $11.25 (including postage) through Champlain Valley Apiaries, Box 127, Middlebury, Vt. 05753.
Jasmine and Bread's Beyond Catsup: Available for $4.95 (including postage and handling) from Jasmine and Bread, RR 2, Box 256, South Royalton, Vt. 05068. Annie's BBQ sauce: Available by the case ($29.40 plus shipping) from Foster Hill Road, North Calais, Vt. 05650.
Cherry Hill products: A complete listing and prices can be obtained from Cherry Hill Cooperative Cannery, Inc., MR1, Barre, Vt. 05641.
"The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook": Send your request and $1 to the Department of Agriculture, Development Division, 116 State St., Montpelier, Vt. 05602.