We began our trip by driving down to North Conway and one of the first things I noticed was the tree leafs and flowers were where we were 6-8 weeks ago, with the trees just leafing out and the daffodills and tulips in bloom.
Wunderground that I look at regularly - we failed.
Then it was north to Norway, ME where we stopped at a gas station and got a great reference for the little restaurant next door, so we tried it. I had lobster pie with sweet potato fries and marinated mushrooms and Bev had baked Haddock. All were pretty darn good and I love to just wander into a place and see what happens.
From there it was back west into NH where we stopped at Bisson Sugar House in Berlin for a personal sugarhouse tour and a couple gallons of delicious syrup. I had done some on-line research of the local sugar houses and this was our first stop - he's the third generation in his family to do this. But since it was so good and the right price, we ended our syrup hunting right there. We paid $55/gallon for his and we later found other brands were $43/ half gallon in North Conway. This operation had 3000 tree taps (which now go into pipes rather than buckets), harvested 43000 gallons of sap and made 1040 gallons of syrup - 43 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup.
I always thought that, like cooking sugar cane, the different grades came off at different stages in the cooking procees, but not so. All of the sap is cooked exactly the same but as the weather warms and the trees get closer to budding, the sap changes. The Grade A Light Amber comes in first followed by Medium Amber, Dark Amber, and Grade B. The difference is the color and the strength of the flavor which both become greater later. So we bought some of the last 3 grades and we thought the Grade A Light is too mild.
We also bought some maple butter and maple taffy which are the same product, but cooked at higher temps to remove more water and make them thicker - nothing else is added - the last product is maple sugar candy. So ends the maple syrup lesson and he ships anywhere. Here's a few shots along our trip.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.
One year ago: South Of The Border Breakfast