Maple Festival 2016

Yesterday, The Blog Tech, his fiance and I went to the first maple festival.  She had never been to one and basically knew nothing about sugaring off so she was very excited to experience the whole thing.  The Blog Tech and I knew only too well what to expect.  We left early and drove up to the mountains.  It was a rainy, gloomy day.....perfect for visiting sugar camps! We stopped at our favorite one first and they gave us the grand tour.
After each boil, they pour a sample of that batch and display them in the window during the season.  You can see what a vast difference there is in color in each batch.  We always buy the darker syrup because it has the most intense flavor.  Most people go for the light amber color.
This maple tree had to be cut down this winter and they brought this slice into the shack to show where the different taps were placed over the years. Click to enlarge the pic and you will see them, they look like arrows,  The one just off the lower left corner of the orange note would have been placed by the present owners father when he was a little boy.

 At barely 10:00 am, The Blog Tech and his fiance at their first maple sundae of the day.  She decided right then and there that this was the best festival in the world.

You can see all of the wood in the back which they use in the burner.
 Here you can see some buckets on the trees.

 The buckets are covered with metal caps.

 These shacks are out in the middle of nowhere but they are easy to find because you just look for the smoke.

 This is the sap boiling in the unit.  They told us that this year it took them 100 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

 Then we were off to another one.

 This place, like most of the shacks now, collect sap through a tube system.

All of the shacks lay out a spread similar to this.  This whole thing is free.  They offer huge varieties of food made with maple syrup.  The Blog Tech and his fiance were more than happy to sample as much as they could.  We had some truly remarkable food yesterday the most interesting being a maple cheese spread.  It consisted of velvetta cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and maple syrup.  It sounds disgusting but it about brought me to my knees it was so good.  And no, it did not taste the tiniest bit like velvetta.  I have hundreds of photos to sort through today and I'll show more tomorrow.


Susan said…
I take it the wedding diet went on vacation this weekend...we are having maple festivals around us, too, although the season is pretty much at its end.
Mary said…
One of my girls for a science project when she was in school made Maple syrup from a big maple in our back yard. Boiled it outside in the yard too, it was fun and very tasty. yummy
Cottage Tails said…
We have nothing like this in NZ. How long do they leave the buckets on the tree for do you know?
Guillaume said…
Oh this is so very Quebecker! I miss maple syrup, maple butter, maple taffy and well, maple everything.
You would think the Velveeta taste would overpower the maple syrup taste but I'll take your word for it that it does not! Gawd, it's been a million years since I've tasted Velveeta. Was raised on it, of course.
Anonymous said…
100 gallons for one gallon, wow,, usually its 40 to one!!!
must have been weak sap!
Maybe the strange winter?
Anonymous said…
It looks so fun!
The Sugar Maple doesn't do well here so no chance to see that in live here. Some however do the same with Birches but they only sell birch syrup to restaurants. I really need to let a birch grow up in my garden :-)

Have a great day!

Joy said…
This sounds amazing! I've never been to a Maple festival either. Some day...when we're back on U.S. soil. :)

BTW, I even used half maple syrup and half honey to make a lemon curd recently. Delicious!
Magic Love Crow said…
I love maple festivals! I haven't been to one in years! Would love to try the velvet cheese spread! Yummy!
Mary Ann said…
I say it again, I would love going to one of these festivals. Thanks for showing us the tree sample, that was incredible!
Kay said…
100 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup??? No wonder it's so expensive!