Eating Local in the Berkshires
Posted on August 08, 2023Written by Gretchen M. Michelfeld on behalf of 1Berkshire
Updated on August 08, 2023
Gourmet chefs know the most flavorful fruits and vegetables are those in season in a particular region. Nutritionists and environmental experts agree that “eating local” is a great way to nourish the body and be responsible stewards of the land. But how exactly do we “eat local?” Shop at neighborhood farmers’ markets? Visit pick-your-own orchards and friendly farm stands? Patronize farm-to-table restaurants?
Yes! All of the above! Let’s start with dessert!
Why pay a gazillion dollars for fancy chocolates from France or Switzerland when you can delight your epicurean senses with hand-crafted delicacies from local Lenox chocolatier Joshua Needleman, owner of Chocolate Springs? Truffles, chocolate-dipped fruit and nuts, specialty bars, hot chocolate, white, dark, or milk– Chocolate Springs has it all! Sample goodies, find delicious gifts for everyone you love, then kick back in style and enjoy a hot chocolate or ice cream at the Chocolate Springs Café.
Did somebody say ice cream? Hop on down to Lee for a visit to High Lawn Farm’s Farmstead Creamery Shop where you can enjoy unique “farm-to-cone” flavors like Sweet Cream, Coffee Mocha, Lemon Poppy Seed, and Purple Cow! Craving something savory? Try an artisanal cheese platter or pick up eggs, milk, or truffle butter to use when preparing your own locally sourced gourmet meals.
Speaking of locally-sourced gourmet meals, sister restaurants, Public in North Adams and District in Pittsfield each offer fresh, inventive American food while taking full advantage of the local bounty of Berkshire farms and local food producers. Both restaurants boast expertly curated wine lists, a rotation of craft beers, and fabulous mixed drinks, as well as warm, welcoming service.
Warm and welcoming service is the hallmark of Berkshire area Bed & Breakfasts and Inns, and most of them offer excellent farm-to-table restaurants. Delight in modern American haute cuisine at The Bellflower Restaurant at The Apple Tree Inn in Lenox, enjoy a cozy candlelight meal or even a private dining experience at the historic Stagecoach Tavern in Sheffield’s Race Brook Lodge, or head on over to East Chatham, NY to enjoy a daily hot breakfast inspired by locally sourced ingredients when you stay overnight at Silver Maple Farm.
As summer draws to a close our taste buds tingle with anticipation for sweet crispy apples and tart apple cider. Maybe it’s time to start planning a fall excursion to Richmond where Hilltop Orchards offers delicious apples, cider, donuts, and wine as a reward for an invigorating hike with breathtaking views (pro tip: you can even enjoy the yummy without the hike!), and Bartlett’s Apple Orchard and Farm Market encourages you to pick your own apples before visiting their market for Bartlett’s home grown produce and pumpkins.
If you want to learn more about Berkshire County orchards, farmers markets, dairies, and the area restaurants that offer fresh, local ingredients, the good folks at Berkshire Grown have made it their mission to advocate for local farmers and educate the rest of us avid foodies! A visit to their website is a great way for visitors to prepare for a Berkshire vacation, and for residents to learn more about the agricultural community and how to make eating locally a way of life!
Hungry yet? Find more great places to eat and drink in the Berkshires with our online guide.
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