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.