To those in search of an easy food- and foliage-filled getaway: Meet Fennville, a 1,000-person town in Southwest Michigan that's home to some culinary heavyweights.
Cider House Rules
Virtue Cider founder Greg Hall has had a busy summer; construction is almost complete on a second cider house, which will store ciders 15 feet underground, at 55° year-round. Informal tours of the 48-acre farm are available daily, as are tastings of Virtue's Asturian, English and Norman-style ciders made from Michigan apples. Fans of yeasty French quaffs will like the Percheron, a cider aged in French oak: "It's pretty funky, but it's got the nice crushed apple juice and sweetness to it," Hall says.
The gents of Virtue Cider (Photo: Grant Kessler)
The anchor of Fennville's Main Street is Salt of the Earth, a four-year-old bastion of local cooking that sources most of its ingredients from within 50 miles. It's a region fertile with producers like Queso Cabeza Farm, which raises a rare Icelandic breed of lamb. "It's outlandishly delicate," says chef Matthew Pietsch. "It blew my mind the first time I tasted it." Go for crisped local pork belly ($12) with polenta and heirloom bean chili--and don't leave without a house-baked artisan loaf.
Salt of the Earth (Photo: Green Frog Photography) | Crane's pies (Photo: Hillary Proctor)
A fruit pie from Crane's Pie Pantry is an ideal souvenir. The local legend has been in operation for nearly 100 years, producing 15 varieties daily. Also on site: a U-Pick orchard, currently loaded with apples.
Thirsty for something hoppy? Head to Fennville's northern neighbor, Holland, MI, to visit New Holland Brewing.
Please check your inbox to verify your email address.