Taste Test: Deer Me | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It
Favorite

Taste Test: Deer Me 

Vermont farm offers venison variety

Even if you don't get up before dawn and stalk deer through the chilly woods, you can still feast on Vermont venison - it'll just be a little less wild. The Ridgeway Red Deer farm in Whitingham, Vermont, sells red deer goodies such as summer sausage, jerky and Slim Jim-style meat sticks. All are "heart-healthy products at reasonable prices with prompt, courteous service," their website boasts.

Best of the bunch: the summer sausage. Brick-red and marbled with pearly fat, it has a meaty aroma and a complex flavor with a surprising touch of sweetness. That sweetness makes it a natural partner for pungent cheese. Served with wheat crackers and Cabot Hunter's X cheddar, it makes an appropriate deer-season treat.

The jerky doesn't come off as well. Its shiny, smooth exterior is reminiscent of plastic. Jerky should be thicker and more textured - gnarled like something that's been dried over a smoky campfire rather than in some sort of machine.

The taste doesn't help - the seasonings drown out the flavor of the meat. According to the website, it's "chopped and formed with smoke flavoring added." If you need to sink your teeth into some Vermont jerky, stick with Rosie's of Swanton. Their marinated beef strips are rustic-looking and tasty, and come in nine flavors.

The Ridgeway meat stick is better. Drier than the sausage, it has a nice tang while still tasting of venison. It's a good bet for road-trip snacking - especially if you're put off by the "mechanically-separated chicken" listed among the ingredients in "beef" Slim Jims.

Order from Ridgeway's unintentionally campy website at http://www.ridgewayreddeerfarm.com.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Suzanne Podhaizer

About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Bio:
Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Category

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation