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Side Dishes: Leftover Food News

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In a state that embraces deer season and is home to meat purveyors such as Vermont Smoke and Cure, Dakin Farm and Harrington’s of Vermont, pleas from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) may not get the most patient hearing. Known for its overblown rhetoric and shock tactics, the group is more likely to find ears in urban areas than beneath plaid hunting caps.

But now PETA is asking consumers to boycott Canadian maple syrup until that nation’s government bans seal hunting. Their suggested alternative? The Vermont version.

PETA’s press packet comes endorsed by film star/animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot. Along with a letter about the violence of the seal hunt, it offers a small bottle of Green Mountain State syrup.

What better advertising could you ask for? Hopefully, the campaign will last long enough for animal lovers to realize our syrup is just plain better.

If all that pumpkin pie didn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, check out Vermont Public Television’s special on chocolate, which premieres on December 5, 2 to 4 p.m.

The show, hosted by Chef Sean Buchanan of Stowe Mountain Lodge, spotlights local chefs and chocolatiers whipping up their favorite treats. Among others, Kirk Weed of Lake Champlain Chocolates makes a Flourless Pumpkin Ganache Cake, and The Belted Cow chef-owner John Delpha demos a Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée.

For the hard-cider snob, the holiday season is big. That’s when Middlebury’s Woodchuck Draft Cider releases a limited-edition drink aged in a combination of “premium French” and “traditional American oak.” According to the company’s website, wood aging gives the cider “great complexity” and “a touch of vanilla.”

Woodchuck also seems to be trying to compete with red wine and whisky as an aid to hearty holiday cooking. A recent press release touts the beverage as an ingredient in traditional fare: “Braise pork tenderloin and pot roasts, soak and boil bratwurst before grilling, add to apple crisps and pies, and to create various recipes of cider breads soups, and stews.”

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