VT: USA Finally, We Get to the Fiddleheads (Day Three)!

Updated: Feb 22, 2020


For Phyl's cooking section of this website, she tries to recreate local specialities from all of the places we travel. If you Google local food in Vermont, New England, you will find bison burgers, venison, cheeses of all sorts and anything and everything made with maple syrup including maple creamee ice creams and maple snow (literal snow). Clearly, the oddest thing on the list are fiddleheads, and we made it our cause de jour of day three to find them.

Vermont Ostrich Fern Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads are ferns before they become ferns, specifically the Ostrich fern. They are common in New England and Canada, sprout naturally in damp, wet areas and can only be foraged by individuals. This, as well as an extremely short growing period, is why they are considered a delicacy and can be quite pricy.

We set off on our third day of our Vermont adventure with a hike in search of Sterling Falls Gorge and Emily's Covered Bridge. As we had so far failed to find fiddleheads on any menu, perhaps we could forage our own. Eventually, we trekked closer to town and serendipitously came across the Stowe Farmer's Market. What better place to find the elusive fiddlehead than already harvested for us in a farmer's market?

The Stowe Farmer's Market, located on the Mountain Road next to the Blue Donkey, is open every Sunday from May to October, rain or shine, from 10 am -3pm. Vermont leads the USA in farmer's markets, organic producers, dollars spent on organic products and CSA's. You can find the vendors that trade at the market on www.stowefarmersmarket.com and you can bet that a large portion of those vendors sell food products that involve maple.

Although the weather wasn't perfect, there was a country band playing and lots of families with kids and dogs. After a dollar's worth sample of maple vodka, we sampled maple popcorn, maple soda, maple chipotle syrup, maple chipotle nuts and ...pot stickers. There were several green grocers, but alas, not fiddleheads.

Near the pot stickers, we found a pickler who might possibly have had jarred fiddleheads. She'd been sold out for months, but she did at least inform us that fiddleheads only come out early spring and would not be available anywhere fresh until 2019. The search for fiddleheads was over, so we sampled the next best thing: tongue pickles. These pickles are made from overgrown and yellow cucumbers and look like, well, pieces of tongue.

Now we needed something to search for, so we jumped in the car and went off in search of covered bridges. Covered bridges always make me think of prairie dresses, geriatric sex and steamy car windows, but The Bridges of Madison County was set in Iowa. Even still, there are 100 authentic covered bridges in Vermont, more than any other state. A covered bridge is considered authentic due to its trussed construction. Most are elusive, some lead to no where, and they are all very beautiful.

Lamoille County, close to Stowe should have had 13 bridges. Out of those 13, we located about five.

A quick stop to Pie-casso for some pizza and it was another day done and dusted. Back to our beautiful suite for laundry and packing.

Sadly, after three days in the car, our cannoli from Mikes Pastry had to go in the bin along with the second half of the turkey sandwich. Don't worry, we will pick up on the cannoli in the next post.

#Vermont #NewEngland #RoadTripsUSA #BridgesofMadisonCounty #MerylStreep #MikesPastry #Boston #BostonUSA #NewEnglandStates #NewEnglandTravel #RoadTrips #Wanderlust #mytrveldiary #TravelAddict #Piecasso #Fiddleheads #StoweMountainLodge #StoweFarmersMarket #CoveredBridges

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About Us


Fearing the empty nest? Don't! Since my children have flown the coup, I have had time to refocus on my passions of travel, art, and writing.  This little blog is a handy tool that helps me share what I have learned with others.


I grew up in the States, but have lived a large chunk of my adult life in the UK. I now split my time between London and South Africa as well as chasing the sun around the world. 


 When my nest emptied, I began to plan my trips according to my own schedule, indulging in going solo. Once one gets used to traveling solo, it can be a very freeing experience. I seek out interesting, informative and unique experiences, and proffer advice with my network of readers.  I also have a lot of fun!


 Spa retreats and personal growth travel are core to what I do.  If there was a master's degree in the art of booking massages, I would be a scholarship student! I also plan to conquer Europe one city break at a time and with all that effort, I need as many beach holidays as possible. 


So please enjoy reading my tales of travel. I hope you are encouraged to get on that plane and perhaps have a few giggles along the way.


When my large family was quite young, we lived in several international postings. In an age before Google Translate,  I negotiated the grocery stores of foreign countries in search of tasty ingredients. I soon became an expert at discerning information from food labels and also learned to cook healthy, quick meals from local sources. 


From this experience, I became quite the foodie, even before 'foodie' was a word. And now as an empty-nester and devotee of food travel networks, I  interpret those old recipes into smaller, even tastier versions. 


Being an editor and food/wine travel columnist,  I travel the world sampling indigenous recipes which I share on Old Bag on a Plane. I also love wine!


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As we are all not traveling much, now would be a great time to share favourite travel, wellness, and food stories. We would love to include your best tales on this blog. If you would like to collaborate, please email us here at oldbagonaplane@gmail.com

Around this time each year, we would create a recap of all our best adventures from the year just passed. As this is 2021, and there were no adventures in 2020, here is a short video montage of all the things we did while we were not doing anything at all.