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VERMONT

Maple Syrup

Vermont SyrupVermont, the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S., distributes only 100% natural syrup with nothing added. Believe me, there is a huge difference between Aunt Jemima's watered down version containing high fructose corn syrup and the pure maple syrup!! Vermont even has a 'Maple Law' setting standards for the production of maple sugar. Besides the common syrup for your pancakes, maple sugar is also used to make candies, cremes, fudge, dressings and coatings. My favorite is maple syrup drizzled over creme brulee! While in Vermont, visit one of the many sugarhouses (similar to visiting wine vineyards), each with a different personality. The Bragg Farmhouse is one example of what you can expect to find at a sugarhouse. Once you have tried pure Vermont maple syrup, you won't settle for anything less!

WASHINGTON

Apples

Washington ApplesThe Cascade Mountain's rich lava-ash soil and abundant sunshine creates a perfect environment for growing the country's most delicious apples. There are many types of apples including Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonagold, Fuji and Gala. Perfect apples should be shiny without any bruising. A shiny skin indicates crispness and no one likes a mushy apple. The Washington Apple Commission sets the highest standards for apple growers in the U.S. to ensure the best product. To order fresh apples direct from Washington visit Apples Online. If you are in the area, see Washington Apple Country to arrange an orchard tour.

WISCONSIN

Cheese

Wisconsin CheeseResidents from Wisconsin aren't called 'cheese heads' for nothing. The state has been producing cheese for over 160 years with more than 600 varieties, types and styles of American, international-style and original cheeses. Their cheeses have won more awards than any other state or country. The rich land made farming, particularly dairy farming, very successful. To handle the storage of abundant amounts of milk, the farmers converted it into cheese. Soon cheese factories were built and eventually the cheese industry evolved. Some of the more popular Wisconsin cheeses include Brick and Colby, original to the area. While visiting Wisconsin, stop in and sample their cheeses or purchase their many products on-line at one of many gift sites.

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