Who says that road fare always have to be in a chain restaurant? There are various stop over where you can be delighted with local produce while learning a thing or two from the state’s produce just like festivals they held annually such as Vermont’s Cheesemaker Festival, Fort Peach Festival in Georgia, the National Cherry Festival in Michigan, and the Blessing of the Fleet in Mississippi. If there’s one thing worth trying in some new places it’s the food they are famous for that should always be on top of your list. Listed below are our top picks.
Arizona’s Citrus Fruits
Arizona is among the four states in the US that has significant citrus production. It shares with California the 18% of total national production of lemon. It also produces 13% of US tangerines. In March to April you can take delight in the orange blossom aroma in the surrounding area of Meza, Arizona. From May to October stalls are usually close but there are still a various citrus like oranges and tamales sold from pickup trucks or car trunks along the road. From southeast Phoenix the Mesa area is just a short drive. This is where you can see the country’s biggest organic growers of peaches, which also has its annual festival of Peach Blossom.
Georgia produces more than 60 million kilos of peaches between mid-May thru mid-August. In June the Fort Peach Festival is held in Fort Valley Georgia so this is the best time to witness and see the world’s biggest peach cobbler. With its size of 11ft wide it takes canoe paddles to stir its toppings. Other activities include Battle of Byron where admission is free to encourage the public to attend and join the fun. The peaches were originally planted grown St. Augustine in Florida but it was introduced to Cumberland islands and St. Simon’s along Georgia’s coast back in 1571.
From apples and apricots to the states famous huckleberries and sweet summer potatoes it all grows from Idaho’s valley orchards and fields. You can have a tour and explore these orchards located in Gem County’s the Valley of Plenty. During the summer the stall along the roadside are overflowing with various fruits. For Tilton’s various apricots you can visit by early July to try and taste it. And by September you can savor a wide selection of apples ready to be picked along the road.
In Michigan cherry blossoms bloom in the month of May and by mid-July it’s ready for picking. Every year in the month of May the National Cherry Festival is held in Traverse City, Michigan to attract tourist to Northern Michigan to see the booming cherry blossoms. The festival is normally a two-day event with non-denominational ceremony to bless the cherry and grape blossoms for the next growing season. If going there you have to book tickets in advance to enjoy all the events during the festival.
You’ll see Hermann Wine Trail winding through the prettiest scenery in Missouri. The wineries in and around the German community in Hermann are truly the heart and soul of Missouri Wine Country, which produce about third of the states total production. And along this trail are the seven family owned wineries. To see Hermann in its liveliest visit it during their annual Oktoberfest.
Over the years the Blessing of the Fleet has grown and now includes added events like the Shrimp Festival. This festival happens the evening before the Blessing and features a dinner of various shrimp dishes. And in the following morning shrimp boats and other watercraft gathers in the Mississippi Sound for the blessing. Abundant food and drink play an important role in the blessing just like any other community celebration.
Pennsylvania’s Chocolate and Pumpkins
Spend fall day by taking a day trip to idyllic farm and get your own pumpkin. What’s more you can go see the “Harvest Days with the Pumpkin Patch” hosted by the Landis Valley Museums in October. And in the nearby Lititz you can take a “Chocolate walk” and visit more than 20 sites for chocolate tasting. There are other great fall activities you can enjoy from aside from the pumpkin patches like hayrides, petting zoos, corn mazes and more. For all these and anything chocolate visit Hershey, which is 40kms northwest from Lititz.
Rhode Island’s Blueberries
If you’re planning to visit Rhode Island, go there in August where you can enjoy their fresh produce from the stalls along the roadside selling blueberries and sweet corn among others. Witness how the landscape from Tiverton to Sakonnet Point changes from fences of stone to vineyards. You can also delight yourself with wine tasting in Sakonnet Vineyards then head to Sakonnet Point and enjoy the cool breeze before heading back to Tiverton for that blueberry ice cream from the ice cream shop.
Vermont’s Cheese Trail
Enjoy the best cheese of all in Vermont where they have a council representing all the cheesemakers in Vermont committed to the production and advancement of Vermont cheeses. You can savor the wide array of cheeses available like feta, cave/cellar aged, farmstead, farmstead, fresh, Gouda, and even organic cheese. Vermont’s Cheesemaker Festival is held every July so if you’re planning to go there make sure you go there during this month.
Crabbing season in South Puget Sound is set to start on June 18 so get ready your crab pots and start making that crab cake recipe by then. Better yet it’s perfect time to try the culinary pride of the Northwest. You can drive north going Bellingham where you will see luscious crabs on the way. Crabbing is also Puget Sound’s most popular recreational fisheries. Every year sport fishers catch over a million pounds of Dungeness crab using ring nets, pots and sometimes with their bare hands. But whoever fishes for crab in Puget Sound should have a complete catch record card to account the Dungeness crab they catch.