You can’t get much closer to authentic New England than a sugarhouse in March. I have fond memories of looking into open vats of boiling maple sap. This was in and around a cold walk outside to watch the sap drip into buckets that were nailed onto trees and then sharing a dill pickle served with maple syrup. (If you’re not mad about maple on that dill pickle, they usually serve coffee and homemade donuts too.)
It takes about forty gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. New England produces millions of gallons of maple syrup. I would venture to say that sugarhouses are still very much a family oriented business though many have shut down over the years in response to the stiff competition of big business. Some persevere even though it is no longer a profitable enterprise because that is what their families have always done.
March is generally the time when sugarhouses are boiling sap and open to customers. I can’t recall being in any New England sugarhouse where you weren’t welcome to ask questions and watch the sap-to-maple syrup process. If you like maple syrup, do consider real maple syrup. If you’re in New England, please give the local syrup a try. If you are traveling in New England in March, check out a maple sugar shack. If you live in New England, consider making your own. My brother taps his maple tree and generally gets a gallon of syrup each season.
Click HERE for general information on maple sugar.
Click HERE for a short list of New England sugarhouses.
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