Sugarmaker's Message - March 2020
Maple syrup has been part of Vermont culture for generations. This natural sweetener is made by boiling sap from maple trees. This concentrates the sap into the “liquid gold” that we all love! We make our syrup the old fashioned way; wood fired in a small sugarhouse. As maple syrup is a natural product, there are variations in color. The different colors of maple syrup are classified into four grades whose descriptions can be found below. Once the syrup is opened, it should be kept in the fridge or freezer (don’t worry it won’t freeze)! Should mold develop in the syrup, simply bring it to a boil and skim. Enjoy!
Maple grades lightest to darkest:
Golden with delicate taste: Made most often at the beginning of the season, golden syrup makes a delightful table syrup with a light maple flavor.
Amber with rich taste: This is an excellent all around syrup. It’s taste is stronger than that of golden syrup making it the perfect choice for a table syrup, as well as for baking and cooking when a strong maple flavor is not favored.
Dark with robust taste: This is the classic Vermont grade. For those who like a full maple flavor, it is unbeatable on pancakes, french toast, you name it. Also, it is a good choice for cooking, as the maple flavor will be able to show through the finished dish.
Very Dark with strong taste: This is the darkest of the maple grades and is by far the best choice for baking. With a strong flavor, it may not suit everyone as a table syrup, but substitute it in your favorite cinnamon bun recipe and watch everyones' faces light up!
Out of a small corner of the world comes a product that only two percent of the worlds’ population has ever tasted. Maple syrup is woven in to the culture of Vermont, where finding sixth generation sugar makers is not that uncommon.
In my sugarhouse hangs a 4x6 photo in a stained wood frame. It shows a man and a dog standing in front of a sugar shack made out of scaffolding and plywood. This is my great grandfather “Curly”. He was the last person in my family to make maple syrup. When my family and I moved to our farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont three years ago, I started to follow his lead. I am now 17. As the weather warms and we enter March of 2020, I will head to the woods to tap for my third season sugaring. Each tap that is set in a tree, and each log that is thrown on the fire connects us to generations who have worked the land, who have, every March, tapped trees, and boiled syrup. They have woven maple sugaring into a Vermont tradition.
I hope that you enjoy this season as much as I do.
Sugar maker, Firefly Farm at Burke Hollow
Half Gallon: $38
500 Milliliter: $15
250 Milliliter: $10
(Gallons and half gallons are currently out of stock.)
What People are Saying...
The syrup is maybe the best thing I have ever tasted! - Eric Werth, Ohio