Obscure New England State Symbols: Vermont
Each state has a myriad of official symbols that respresent their cultural heritage and individual history. These include a state flag, motto, song, and bird. But did you know that each region also has their own variety of obscure symbols such as a state treat, state fossil, and even a state dance?
Over the past three weeks we have covered Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and Rhode Island’s lesser known state symbols. This week wraps up the series as we reach Vermont.
State Cold Water Fish: Brook Trout
Vermont has so much respect for their freshwater fish that they designated a state cold-water fish and a state warm-water fish! The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) became the official state cold-water fish in 1978. Their presence indicates fresh, cold running streams, since trout cannot survive in stagnant or polluted water.
State Warm Water Fish: Walleye
The walleye (Sander vitreous vitreous) became Vermont’s official state warm-water fish in 1978 at the same time the brook trout received its honor. Walleye prefer large, clear, cool lakes. They stay in deep, dark waters during the day due to their light-sensitive eyes, then move to shallow areas at night.
State Flavor: Maple
No surprise here! Vermont is known for its pure delicious maple syrup and sugar. The state designated it as their official state flavor in 1993. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S., producing over 500,000 gallons a year. The sugar maple is also Vermont’s state tree.
State Beverage: Milk
Milk is the official beverage of twenty US states, but it does make a perfect companion for the maple flavor, don’t you think? With Vermont focusing so strongly on sustainable food sources, it’s no wonder that they chose milk as their state beverage in 1983. Milk has been called a nearly perfect food with tons of protein, calcium, and several other important nutrients.
State Insect: Honeybee
The honeybee is recognized as an official state symbol in seventeen states, a testament to their critical role in agriculture and human survival. Vermont designated the honeybee as official state insect in 1978 and is a major distributor of honey and natural beeswax products.
State Gem: Grossular Garnet
Grossular is a calcium-aluminium species of the garnet group of mineral gem stones. The name grossular comes from the botanical name for the gooseberry, in reference to the green garnet, but it also can be found in shades of cinnamon brown, red, and yellow. Vermont designated the grossular garnet as its official state gem in 1991.