What comes to mind when you think of Vermont? Maple syrup. Aged cheddar cheese. Covered bridges. Spectacular autumn foliage. You can be forgiven if you don't think of hot dogs - Vermont doesn't have much of what I've heard called a "hot dog culture." And that's kind of a shame, because the state is home to one of my favorite natural-casing franks, McKenzie Country Classics.
McKenzie's franks have everything it takes for frankfurter excellence: a firm casing that snaps when bitten, good balance of beef and pork, and a flavorful seasoning blend which, although milder than some other local New England franks, still holds up well against mustard and relish. Like many of the other dogs I'm covering in this series though, they have a limited distribution range. When I get a jones for McKenzie products, I make up an excuse for a daytrip north, and we always stop at the Brattleboro Hannaford on US5 on the way home.