VPR Cafe

Friday 6:20 p.m. on VPR

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The VPR Café is a weekly feature that's all about Vermont food and the people who grow it, prepare it and love it.

VPR's Ric Cengeri talks with freelance and Seven Days food writers. They share stories from the farms, kitchens and eateries of Vermont that connect our communities.


Mashed, baked, boiled, fried - au gratin, soup and shepherd's pie.  Potatoes are a staple in most diets.  Sally Pollak of the Burlington Free Press takes us to Pete's Greens in the Northeast Kingdom, where they grow 14 varieties of potatoes - plus fingerlings.

Food is at the center of holiday traditions around the world.  Today, Candace Page describes the delicious traditions kept alive by Vermonters who are passionate about their ancestry.  Candy writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press.  You'll find the recipes for Tourtiere and Rutabaga Casserole below.

The VPR Cafe is produced in collaboration with the Burlington Free Press and is made possible on VPR by J.K. Adams Company in Dorset, Vermont and at TheKitchenStoreOnline.com.

Glenn Russell / Free press

A farm in Springfield, Vermont offers an alternative to the holiday turkey - the tiny tasty quail.  For the VPR Cafe on Sunday, December 1, 2013 Melissa Passanen visited the Cavendish Game Farm, where they raise 300,00o quail a year. 

flickr: Kerry J 3202442293

Sunday, November 24, 2013, 10:45a.m.  Thanksgiving can be a memorable day for good food, conversation, and connecting with friends and family. But when you're the host, how do you juggle the planning, shopping, and hosting and have all the cooking timed out perfectly? Never fear.  Burlington Free Press Features reporter Sally Pollak has some advice from the experts. 

flickr Mary.W.E. 4592692243

Sunday, November 17, 2013, 10:45 a.m.  Localvores who want Vermont raised chicken are now finding more options at the co-op and grocery store. Two Vermont farms are now slaughtering and processing chicken on site, opening up new markets for small poultry farms.

Glenn Russell / Free press

Sunday, November 10, 2013 10:45 a.m. A community of localvores in the Mad River Valley has found a way to share the bounty of their gardens and kitchens.  They bring their pickles, jams, soups, breads and other home-made foods to a swap.  It's like a cookie swap - but bigger - and a boon for people whose pantries runneth over.


Sunday, November 3, 2013, 10:45am  A Burlington area restaurant group launched a commissary this year to process meat from local farms.  The Guild Commissary has provided a steady market for local farms and made it possible for them to grow.  Initially, the meat processing center served The Farmhouse Group Restaurants.  But now, consumers can buy local meat beef, pork, chicken and deli meets at Guild Fine Meats in downtown Burlington.

Candace Page, Burlington Free Press

Sunday, October 27, 2013 10:45am Cookbooks tell us a lot about the life and times of the period in which they were written.  From rendering lard in the 1800s, to the Jello and canned soup recipes of the 50s, to today's localvore, Candace Page gives us a history lesson in cookbooks.

Candace writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press


Sunday, October 20, 2013, 10:45am:  Vermont school lunchrooms are offering more fresh local foods thanks to a new book created by Vermont school cooks for school cooks.  The New School Cuisine Cookbook: Nutritional Seasonal Recipes by School Cooks for School Cooks will be released this month.  Melissa Passanen has visited school cafeterias where students are raving about these new kid-tested farm to school recipes.  The cookbook will be available for free download at VTFeed.org  

AP/Ariel Schalit

Sunday, October 13, 2013, 10:45a.m.  Tis the season for leeks.  This versatile mild member of the onion family is in generous supply right now, and Sally Pollak has suggestions from her own kitchen and Vermont chefs on how to enjoy them.  The classic potato leek soup is just the beginning!

Candace Page

Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10:45a.m.  Candace Page, a regular contributor to The VPR Cafe, is in Portland, Oregon visiting family.  Today she contrasts the food, restaurants and atmosphere of Portland to Vermont.  Food Trucks, ethnic restaurants, and sidewalk gardens are in abundance - but alas - no cider donuts and Candy finds that the apples just don't measure up.

Gracie & Viv flickr.com/photos/37331583

Sunday, September 29, 2013, 10:45a.m.  More than two million pounds of Vermont grown vegetables and fruits go to waste each year.  There are plenty of food shelves and non-profits that could use that food, and lots of volunteers who want to gather it.  The challenge is in bringing the two together.   On today's program, Melissa Passanen, who writes for the Burlington Free Press Savorvore Section, talks about how gleaning works to put fresh food to good use.

Caleb Kenna / Free Press

Sunday, September 22, 2013, 10:40am  There are scores of 'heirloom' apples - varieties that have been around for a hundred years or more. This week, Sally Pollak takes us to Windfall Orchard in Cornwall, where reclaiming and nurturing an heirloom orchard is an act of love.

Sally writes for the Savorevore Section of the Burlington Free Press, where you can read more about Windfall Orchard.

Brandie Kajino flickr.com/photos/23531170

Sunday, September 15, 2013, 10:40a.m.  The 'perfect' pie is a challenge that intimidates many home bakers.  Should the crust be made with butter or shortening?  What kind of apples work best? 

This week, Candace Page, who writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press, reveals the secrets of a tender flaky crust and flavorful filling.  You'll also find out why Candy says, "Any apple pie is better than no apple pie!"

Glen Russell/Free Press

Sunday, September 1, 2013, 10:40 a.m.  North Hill Gardens in Readsboro is a seven acre landscape of color and serenity.  The garden was created over 40 years by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrwood, and includes some 8,000 species.  Sally Pollak, who writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press, tells the story of Joe and Wayne and paints a picture of what you will find there.

Candace Page

Sunday, August 25, 2013, 10:40a.m.

Glen Russell/Free Press

Sunday, August 18, 10:40a.m.  This week's program takes us on a tour through the region sampling maple creemees, real fruit pops, refreshing gelato, and out of this world homemade ice cream.  Melissa Pasenen, who writes for the Burlington Free Press Savorvore Series, worked with Cheryl Herrick on this delicious story and shared her favorites with Ric Cengeri.

Flickr, Rob Friesel found_drama 4980364695

Sunday, August 11, 2013, 10:40am  Centuries ago, women were the 'alewives' - the people who brewed beer.  That changed over the years as the field became dominated by men.  Now, women are making a comeback, developing new craft beers and managing breweries.  Sally Pollak, who writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press, tells how persistence and luck paid off for two Burlington brewmasters.

Candace Page, Burlington Free Press

Sunday, August 4, 10:40a.m.  Whether you steam it, grill it, or enjoy it super fresh right in the field, sweet corn is an iconic pleasure of Summer in Vermont.  Candace Page, who writes for the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press, explains how sweet corn has gotten sweeter over the years and shares the secret for perfectly steamed corn. 


Sunday, July 21, 2013 10:40am  It's a tiny parking lot surrounded by art studios the rest of the week, but on Friday night, the space behind 400 Pine Street is home of The South End Truck Stop.  A dozen or more food trucks offer everything from macaroni and cheese to curried goat to cupcakes.  Hundreds of people gather to eat, listen to the music, meet up with friends and make new ones.  Sally Pollak of the Burlington Free Press talks with Ric Cengeri about how the South End Truck Stop came to be.