I went on my first adventure of the 2018 Adventure Season on Friday! Our Cobblestone Society hosted a day trip / bus tour for Maple Season. We started out at 9:00 am, made two stops, and got back home about 3:30 pm. And, it was a fantastic day!!! The weather cooperated – I won’t say it was “perfect”, because it was pretty cold, but the sun was shining all day and the sky was a gorgeous blue with just wisps of white clouds.
Here are some of the photos I took to capture our adventure to learn about all things maple….which, by the way, is a MAJOR produce for our state – second only to Vermont – and the Maple Tree is our state tree!!!
First stop was the Merle Maple Farm in Attica, NY, where we learned all about the process of tapping trees, getting the sap to the sugar shack, and producing pure maple syrup and maple sugar! This is the first I’ve heard words like “Permeate”, “Retentate”, and “RO” since I left the Pharmaceutical Industry…..I’m proud to say I understood everything he was saying about the process of extracting and purifying the sap into syrup products!!! 😀
As fate would have it, my Daily Photo Challenge topic for Friday was “Candy”!!! This was my choice for the challenge – Maple Sugar Candy!
The next stop was Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn in Angelica (Short Track), NY where we had all-you-can-eat Buckwheat Pancakes with fresh pure maple syrup…..and some ham and sausage, too! I’ve had pure maple syrup in the past (at Cartwright’s, as a matter of fact) and thought it was OK, but still preferred the taste of Aunt Jemmiah – I thought the artificial stuff had a better flavor and is thicker! But, this was AMAZING!!! I do believe it has changed my mind about pure maple syrup!!! And, the pancakes…..OMG……what a meal — I ate four – two more than I should have, but I couldn’t help myself! A few of us also went downstairs to see the antique equipment and the processing room.
I’ll leave you with this chart found at Merle’s……..it shows the difference between the different natural sweeteners! Maple Syrup may be second highest in calories, but it is soooooo rich in nutrients – they are definitely NOT empty calories! We also learned that maple syrup can enhance most any flavors — adding maple syrup to your recipes will bring out the flavor of whatever you’re making without adding an overwhelming maple flavor. It is especially good with any tomato based foods – it can enhance the flavor and balance out the acidity to result in a truly amazingly tasting meal!
All this talk and touring of Sugar Shacks brought this wonderful old song to mind……