It’s finally here! Mad River Taste week begins

Charcuterie pairings and more will be part of the first Mad River Taste Week which begins August 4.

Mad River Taste week kicks off with a pig roast feast featuring dishes highlighting local farms and food producers. Erika Lynch of Babette’s Table and Bill Cavanaugh of the Mad River Food Hub are collaborating to spit-roast a whole von Trapp Farmstead pig, deboned and stuffed like an Italian porchetta.  

Side dishes for the pig roast, representing the best the Mad River Taste producers have to offer, will be prepared by Canteen Creemee Company, and there will be ice cream sandwiches from The Sweet Spot and a cash bar featuring cocktails from Mad River Distillers, beer from Lawson’s Finest Liquids and cider from Tin Hat. Phineas Gage will provide music for the event.

The pig roast will be held on the Mad River Green on Saturday, August 4, at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.madrivertaste.com/tasteweek  or in person at the Mad River Taste Place in Waitsfield. Children under 5 eat free.

The brainchild of Robin Morris, president and founder of the Mad River Food Hub and the Mad River Taste Place, Mad River Taste Week will offer people the chance to discover local food and drink made and grown by local artisans and craftsmen.

The pig roast kicks off the week and Erika Lynch will be part of it. She is a former teacher who packed up and headed to Gascony, France, with her partner and their two children to study classic French charcuterie with master butchers Kate Hill and Dominique Chaporlard. Eighteen months after starting her business at the Mad River Food Hub USDA-inspected business incubator in Waitsfield, she is producing an extensive line of delicious cured meats built around locally sourced product from von Trapp Farm, Sugar Mountain, and others. 

She will also be on hand to discuss her handmade charcuterie on August 10 at the Mad River Taste Place as Mary Tuthill, head cheesemonger at Mad River Taste Place, pours complimentary glasses of cider and walks us through the way artisanal salami pairs with Vermont’s many excellent ciders. This will be a fun way to learn the versatility behind both hard cider and cured meats.

"In addition to attending the pig roast this Saturday and the cider and charcuterie pairing on Friday, August 10, I would recommend attending the tour of Alpenglow Farm in East Warren on Tuesday, August 7, and Mad River Distiller's distillery in Warren on Thursday, August 9.  Both these tours will provide a great insight into artisanal food growers and beverage makers," said Bill Cavanaugh, facility manager and meat specialist at Mad River Food Hub.

Highlights of Mad River Taste Week include daily farm and facility tours, tasting events and educational workshops, led by food makers and farmers in The Valley. The week finishes with the annual Vermont Cheese Council dinner at the Round Barn on August 11.  Those wishing to continue their pursuit of Mad River and Vermont-made delights are encouraged to attend the Vermont Cheese Festival on August 12 in the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms.