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Side Dishes: Leftover food news

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Nothing fires up the appetite like a vigorous workout, but it’s not often you can get to exercise and eat together. That’s part of what’s special about the second annual Tour de Farms — a bike ride through Addison County punctuated by visits to farmers and food producers. Participants, who are asked to bring both a bike helmet and a spoon, choose among 10-, 25- and 30-mile routes.

Last year, organizers and farms were overwhelmed when more than 200 riders showed up. This year, they’re easing the load by staggering the start times for the three different courses. It’s also much cheaper to participate by signing up in advance: Adults who preregister pay $15. (It’s twice as much if you wait till the big day.)

Those who pedal the full 30 miles can nab samples at 17 spots, including Vermont Cookie Love in North Ferrisburgh, Twig Farm in West Cornwall and award-winning Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven. (Let’s hope the cyclists don’t drink too much vino.)

The ride ends at the Shoreham town green, smack dab in the middle of Apple Fest. According to an email from organizer Judy Stevens of Golden Russet Farm, the celebration features a “soup and bread lunch, apple desserts, farmers market [and] live Irish music.”

Based in Dedham, Mass., the Papa Gino’s restaurant chain slings pies in every New England state except ours. But that hasn’t stopped it from crafting products with “locally produced cheese from Vermont.”

Per the Associated Press, after working with the New England Dairy Promotion Board, Papa Gino’s has announced it will increase its order of an unidentified Vermont cheddar by 174,000 pounds annually. It may be stretching the definition of “local,” but our farmers ain’t complaining.

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce recently named Gerry Nooney of Sugarbush’s Timbers Restaurant “Chef of the Year.” He’s being honored for his long-term participation in the local food movement. Before accepting the ski-resort job in 2007, Nooney taught at NECI and cooked at Mad River Valley restos such as John Egan’s Big World Pub and the Tucker Hill Inn.

He’ll be fêted at a gala event today at The Essex.

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