This weekend, lots of maple syrup producers had an open house. In fact, it was the official Maple Weekend in New Hampshire.
My weekend was fairly busy so I didn’t think I’d get to visit any maple producers, but I happened to be driving by a sugar house that had a “free pancakes for syrup tasting” sign on the road out front.
I definitely can’t resist fresh pancakes and delicious maple syrup, so I pulled over.
There’s nothing quite like the sweet smell of sap being boiled down into maple syrup. The smell engulfed me inside the sugar house.
While the pancakes were being made, I was offered a maple cookie and got to check out the huge vat for boiling sap. It’s quite high tech looking now, but the owner had lots of pictures from the early days of maple syrup making.
It takes so much sap to make syrup- around 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon syrup (the amount changes based on the sugar content of the syrup). The owner of this particular house has 5,000 taps in trees in four different towns.
Real syrup has different grades, with the darker hues tasting more “mapley”. I walked out with a bottle of Grade A Dark Amber, which tasted strongly of maple, but wasn’t overpowering. I’m looking forward to playing with it in baked goods as well as pouring it over more pancakes.