Day Trip to Central Vermont

Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, and is the 2nd least populous in United States. The English name “Vermont” means “green mountains” in French. No wonder upon crossing to the Vermont state from Canada’s Quebec, we could see lush greenery with few people and vehicles on the road. It is most famous for its maple syrup and secondly, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Our itinerary for the day was pretty easy and relaxing: lunch at Cold Hollow Cider Mill luncheonette followed by a tour of its mill; Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory tour; and a short tour at the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks. All 3 attractions are in Central Vermont, with Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury, and Morse Farm in Montpelier.

Welcome to Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Welcome to Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Earlier that day, our tour leader had already passed us the luncheonette menu so that we could decide what to order when we reach the mill. He mentioned that the portions served here aren’t that big. We decided to order a wheat spicy ham wrap, a macaroni cheese and apple cider drink to share (USD 18.25, about S$23).

Our lunch :)

Our lunch 🙂

We thought the wrap was huge, lucky we shared and did not take the tour leader’s words for real! It was very tasty and we love the Cold Hollow honey mustard sauce as it added some spice/ excitement to the usual food we had eaten in this trip. I also like that the wrap had generous amounts of the ham and vegetable. The macaroni cheese was quite good too and the apple cider drink very refreshing.

After the filling lunch, we proceeded to the mill for a tour of the apple cider making process. It was quite fun to see how fresh apples grown locally in the Champlain Valley are pressed using the machines to make fresh apple cider.

Part of the apple cider making process (fresh apple cider in the foreground)

Part of the apple cider making process (fresh apple cider in the foreground)

 

That's how fresh apples are pressed

That’s how fresh apples are pressed

The tour was short but informative and we could even sample the fresh apple cider for free. 🙂 There is a store next to the mill for us to buy their fresh products and souvenirs too.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory is just a few minutes’ drive from the cider mill. I was looking forward to tasting the free ice cream samples at the tour and also buying some ice cream at the scoop shop after that hehe.

Welcome to Ben & Jerry's :)

Welcome to Ben & Jerry’s 🙂

 

The tour guide introducing herself to the group in the background & our ticket in front ;)

The tour guide introducing herself to the group in the background & our ticket in front 😉

The tour was about 30 minutes, with an entertaining company history movie, view of the production room, explanation of the process by the energetic tour guide and a sample at the test kitchen. We were lucky to sample a very yummy Milk & Cookies flavour that day. 🙂

Yummy Milk & Cookies ice cream, generous portion for a sample isn't it? ^^

Yummy Milk & Cookies ice cream, generous portion for a sample isn’t it? ^^

We couldn’t get enough of the goodie ice cream after the tour, so went to the scoop shop just beside the gift shop for our “second round”. 😛 Fortunately we queued first before the rest who went to the gift shop, as the queue became very long later. This time my friend ordered the White Russian flavour (coffee ice cream with coffee liquer) while I chose the fat-free Berry Berry Extraordinary sorbet (swirls of bleuberry fruit sorbet and raspberry fruit sorbet), both single scoop at USD4.25 each after tax (about S$5.40).

White Russian (top) & Berry Berry Extraordinary (bottom)

White Russian (top) & Berry Berry Extraordinary (bottom)

I am not a coffee lover, so I can’t really say I like White Russian flavour. However I guess coffee lovers will love it as the coffee aroma was quite intense? It turned out that my Berry Berry Extraordinary flavour was the favourite among the tour mates I offered to, and I personally like it a lot too as it was not too sweet and with a tinge of sourness, very refreshing, especially after the filling lunch we had at Cold Hollow Cider Mill hehe. We also tasted a few other flavours that our tour mates bought, including Pina Colada (coconut ice cream with pineapple chunks) and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I still prefer mine lol……

After a happy 1.5 hours at Ben & Jerry’s, we left for Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks where we were brought to the woodshed for an information talk about the Morse Farm maple process.

IMG_0551

The chubby Mr Burr Morse giving the talk

Different grades of maple syrup

Different grades of maple syrup

It was a very brief tour of about half an hour, but through this talk, I realised that it is a tough job making maple syrup! Kudos to the Morse folks, who have been doing it for 200 years. Hope they continue with this tradition to bring us quality maple syrup. 😉

The day at Central Vermont ended in the late afternoon. Though we didn’t do much, it was still enjoyable to come and visit this serene New England state.

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