The Maple House
On a clear but still chilly day, in late March, we ventured out looking for the quintessential maple syrup moment in Maine; we found so much more than what I had hoped for!
The proprietors of The Maple House, generously gave us a tour of their farm, fired up the boiler, answered countless questions, including many which must have seemed rather silly, gave us a primer on maple syrup, and plentiful samples of the best maple syrup I have ever tasted! And, as if that were not enough, they introduced me the most perfect of desserts – vanilla ice-cream heavily bathed in maple syrup – you truly must try this, and I recommend that you order your syrup from The Maple House.
Simply find the highest quality of vanilla ice-cream, which you can, pour about a quarter cup of syrup into a small dish, add the ice-cream, and then if you dare, another quarter cup of syrup. It is a very rich dessert, and perfect in its simplicity. As the ice-cream melts and melds with the syrup you will be astonished at your dancing taste buds! If you were so inclined, you might want to top it off with a few toasted pecans or walnuts, and perhaps offer your guest a dish of short bread cookies.
The Maple House is owned by a lovely couple, who have quite literally built this business from the ground up. The husband said that his wife decided to go into the syrup business, with him, because it was his only hobby, which kept him close to home. On their farm, with their own two hands, and using wood which they grew, they have built the buildings that house the business, and even the boiler! They are aided by a friend in keeping the fire roaring, the sap flowing, and the delicious syrup bubbling to the perfect consistency and flavor. The three fine Mainers, and of course their faithful companion, man’s best friend, are the perfect caretakers of the New England tradition of self-sufficiency and artisan products, of the highest quality. It was a delight to have the kind folks, at The Maple House, offer us such unlimited access to their farm, sharing not only the fruit of the labor but their dreams and hopes for their future. I wish them the very best and look forward to next year’s production!
The trees are tapped to collect the sap, which is then boiled to create the rich glorious syrup. Though I had hope to find wooden buckets attached to rows of tree, I must this elaborate system of tubing which carries the sap to the boiler is much more efficient.
A tree that is tapped, without the tubing, allowing the sap to be collected in a bucket, which will have to be hand carried to the boiler.
The sap is boiled until it reaches the perfect consistency and taste.
I was told to go ahead and look inside the bucket – the sap is clear, much to my surprise.
The end of our tour – thank you!
If you would like to try their syrup:
The Maple House
1063 West Road