Eat Boutique: Tonewood

by Lauren Keiper on January 16, 2013

in Boutique Businesses, Vermont

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So much of what we love about small batch food is knowing who is making each delicious bite. We know their names, their stories and why they are passionate about their product.  And we know where they live and work and gather ingredients to make these indie goodies we love to share with you.  Now we want you to get to know the makers.  We’ve asked the questions, and they very kindly answered.  

First up in this series is Tonewood, a Vermont company owned by Dori Ross that lets the maple shine with single-sourced, unblended maple products. It just got off the ground in March 2012 and we are already mad for their products, which include a Maple Cube, Maple CreamMaple Wafers, Maple Flakes and Maple Seasoning, plus a Maple Tree Adoption program. 

Q:  When did you start making food and what inspired your food? 

A:   We started creating our specialty maple products jointly with local Vermont sugarmakers and maple candymakers in March of 2012.  Our inspiration came from our neigbouring sugarmakers – 6th & 8th generation sugarmakers in the Mad River Valley of Vermont.  They are true artisans and have maple in their blood.  Our food style comes from Mother Nature….the maple trees do the real work.  The beauty of maple is that it is probably the only crop that is completely unadulterated – the trees are not harmed, there are no pesticides, no herbicides.  Maple trees produce sap for centuries.

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Q:  What is a great way to use your Maple products?

A:  Maple can be added to any food – meats, fish, vegetables, sweets and it is really lovely on it’s own.   {Eat Boutique note: Tonewood shared some recipes developed by local restaurant Hen of the Wood Chef/Owner Eric Warnstedt. We’ve included one below.}

Q:  Where is your business located and what are some of the tastiest local or nearby eats (or drinks!)? 

A:  We are located in the Mad River Valley of Vermont.  Some of the tastiest local eats include:  Hen of the Wood, The Common Man, The Pitcher Inn, The Big Picture, American Flatbread to name just a few of our wonderful spots. For more ideas, read the Mad River Valley Dining Guide.

Q:  What other small batch food items complement yours?

A:  We love to mix maple with almost everything.  Our favourite is shaving our Tonewood maple cube over food.   We enjoy the maple cube freshly shaved over our cappuccino every morning.

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Q:  What’s most important to you (handmade, small batch or local ingredients) and why?

A:  All three!  Tonewood maple products are local ingredients that are handmade in small batches.

All responses from Tonewood owner Dori Ross. You can shop for Tonewood’s Maple Creme and Maple Cube on Eat Boutique.

Maple-Hazelnut Fudge

From Hen of the Wood chef/owner Eric Warnstedt

Mix together and stir:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ½ cup hazelnuts coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the nuts into a saucepan.  Place over medium heat and boil gently – cook to 228 degrees F
  2. Allow to cool in the pan to 110 degrees F.  With a wooden spoon beat until it loses its shine and becomes creamy.
  3. Add nuts and pour into a buttered 8” pan and allow to cool completely.

All photos styled and taken by Maggie Battista.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in our new shop.

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Lauren Keiper

Lauren is a writer who lives, eats and cooks in Boston with her husband.She's written for Reuters, the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal and Boston magazine.

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  • v m

    That cube is genius, but I’d have to stop my self from gnawing away at it. By the way, maple cream is really easy to make. You just heat maple syrup and then whip it. (Of course, read over the more detailed instructions you can find online).

  • Susan

    When do you add the nuts to the maple fudge – I assume you mix them in just before pouring into the pan?

  • Tonewood

    Yes add the nuts into the maple fudge just before pouring it into the pan. Enjoy

  • Peggy Witter

    I had to laugh when I saw the maple cube… you see my husband grew up on a dairy farm in the southern tier of NY. Yep you guessed it, sugaring! Each year we buy a minimum of a gallon of “real” maple syrup which he delights in… maple syrup over vanilla ice cream, pork chops, apples, you name it! I do believe I know what my sweet hubby is getting for his birthday! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Denise

    Lauren, this must be amazing! I have never seen a maple sugar cube, and completely intrigued!! So many possibilities!

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