**This is Cheesemonger Carey’s second installment of her series on some of the mouthwatering meats we carry at our shops. Enjoy!
Products: Smoked Pepperoni, RealSticks, Summer Sausage
Company: Vermont Smoke and Cure
Location: Hinesburg, Vermont
Vermont Smoke and Cure made me reevaluate all my misgivings about pepperoni. Sure, it’s tasty, but it usually makes the surface of any pizza look like a bright red oil spill. Not so with this stuff. A perfect level of spice complements natural smokiness. VSC does a great job providing healthier, more sustainable, and relatively affordable alternatives to lowbrow meat products like pepperoni and meat sticks.
VSC started in 1962 as a small smoke house using traditional Vermont methods—brining in maple syrup and smoking over corn cobs and maple wood. The brand was revitalized as Vermont Smoke & Cure in 2006, using the same original recipes. Today it is a far larger operation than Fra’Mani or La Quercia, but still committed to purchasing pork and beef from Vermont farmers when it can. VSC does get some meat from Quebec, but in retail differentiates between this and its more expensive local products. The company urges consumers to choose local in order to support the growth of this sector. Their range of all-local products goes by the name of 5 Knives, more information at www.5-knives.com.
VSC also offers processing services, smoking hams and bacons for over 600 Vermont farms, both big and small. The farms pay for these services, but then have a USDA approved and added-value product, increasing their sales. VSC supports local maple syrup producers, and overall plays a significant role in the local economy. For more information about sourcing and products, check out their website.