In Maple Country, they call it “liquid gold.” And that’s not just because it’s expensive. There’s a lot that goes into making New York State maple syrup. It takes 35 gallons of tree sap to make one gallon of syrup. And the sap only flows when the nights are cold and the days are above freezing.
New York State is home to hundreds of maple syrup producers. During Maple Weekends, maple farms invite you to celebrate the sweet side of life with wagon rides out to the sugar bush, tree-tapping demonstrations, maple delights like maple cotton candy, maple cream, maple sweet buns, maple hot dogs and more. Look for live music, crafts and children’s activities too. Here’s a list of some sweet spots.
Cedarvale Maple Syrup Co.
Take a tour of the sugar bush and sugarhouse and see how sap is collected and boiled down to make liquid gold. Watch producers create maple cotton candy and purchase a variety of maple products in the farm’s store.
3769 Pleasant Valley Road, Syracuse, cedarvalemaple.com
Watch ’em boil down sap on the wood-fired evaporator before experiencing a wagon ride out to the sugar bush. Take a tour of the sugarhouse, enjoy a breakfast buffet and maple cotton candy and explore the winery with a glass of the farm’s own maple syrup hard cider.
3232 Rippleton Road, Cazenovia, critzfarms.com
Maple Hollow Farm
Taste three flavours of maple cream and the farm’s newest recipe, maple fluff. Out at the sugar bush, see a tree tapping demonstration, learn how to determine sugar content and see the different methods of sap collection.
1309 County Route 85, Hannibal, NY 315 564-7133
Smokey Hollow Maple Products
Make maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple cream and see a live demonstration of sap collecting.
8597 Pierce Road, Jordan, smokeyhollowmaplesyrup.com
Central New York Maple Festival
The village of Marathon celebrates all things sweet with horse-drawn carriage rides, live bands, arts and crafts, children’s activities, a chainsaw carving competition, historical characters in the village and, of course, an all maple menu including maple cream buns and maple pulled pork sandwiches.
Marathon, N.Y. maplefest.org March 21- 22, 2015
Now that you know what you’re missing, try these recipes for a taste of New York State maple syrup when you get back home.
Warm syrup to 230 degrees. While hot, pour on snow or crushed ice – the farm says to eat it with your fingers. According to Cedarvale Maple Syrup Co., “traditionally, this treat was the feature of the “sugaring off” party held at the sugar house to celebrate the end of the syrup harvest”.
Courtesy Cedarvale Maple Syrup Co.
Maple Pecan Butter
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Pour pecans into a food processor and chop until fine. Combine pecans with butter and syrup. Mix. Roll maple butter into log and cover in plastic wrap. Chill one or two hours before slicing and serving.
Header image: Maple Syrup Tapping © Jim Pintar/iStock/Thinkstock
Drizzled over French toast? Dipped with sausage? What’s your favourite way to eat New York State maple syrup? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Written by M.J. Kravec