April 17, 2024
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Vermont’s World Famous Maple Syrup and Sugar Houses to Visit

vermont maple syrup sugar making

Vermont is known for its high-quality maple syrup, which has been an important part of the state's culture and economy for centuries. The history of maple syrup production in Vermont dates back to the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region. These early inhabitants, including the Abenaki, Iroquois, and Algonquin tribes, discovered that maple trees produced a sweet sap that could be collected and transformed into syrup or sugar. They used the syrup as a sweetener and as a trade item with other tribes and European settlers.

Famous Vermont Maple Syrup

Maple syrup production became more widespread in Vermont in the 19th century, as settlers learned how to tap the trees and collect the sap. The process of making maple syrup involves drilling a hole into a maple tree and inserting a spout, or tap. The tap is connected to a bucket or a plastic tubing system that collects the sap as it flows out of the tree. The sap is then boiled down to reduce its water content, resulting in maple syrup.

Vermont's maple syrup industry has grown significantly over the years, and today the state is one of the largest producers of maple syrup in the United States. Vermont's maple syrup is known for its high quality and distinctive flavor, and it is enjoyed by people around the world.

Vermont maple syrup is known for its rich, smooth flavor and high quality

It is produced in the state of Vermont, which is known for its maple trees and maple syrup production. Vermont maple syrup is made by tapping maple trees and collecting the sap, which is then boiled down to create the syrup. Vermont is known for producing some of the best maple syrup in the world, and many people consider it to be a specialty product. The flavor of Vermont maple syrup is often described as being rich and complex, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and nuts. It is often used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in a variety of dishes, including pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, and other breakfast foods. Many people also enjoy using Vermont maple syrup as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, and other desserts.

These are a few popular Vermont maple syrup farms in northern Vermont for you to visit this Spring

In no particular order, these are five of the best Vermont maple farms that you will find while driving around northern Vermont. To be fair, there are many others including some small, family farms such as the Thompson Family Farm in Colchester which is certainly one of the best! We will be expanding this article to feature more sugar makers in the future but for now, these truly are some of the best places to visit. An older article about Vermont maple sugaring and maple syrup can be found here.

Vermont Maple Syrup

Here are just a few of the Vermont maple syrup farms that offer a wide range of maple products, gifts and fun things to do for the entire family.

Best Vermont Maple Syrup Farms

Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

Visit the Morse Sugarworks a few miles on the outskirts of Montpelier, Vermont for walk-through tours, tasting, multimedia displays, a nature trail, an authentic country store, and outdoor activities on the grounds of a rural farm experience. Visit an outdoor Vermont farm life museum making up the Morse Farm experience. Sprinkled throughout the property, are whimsical carved folk life characters created by Burr Morse.

Morse Farm is open daily year round, but their hours do vary with the seasons.
June 12 – August 29 open 10 AM to 7 PM
August 30 – December 31 open 10 AM to 5:00 PM
New Years Day – June 11 open 10 AM to 5 PM

Goodrich's Maple Farm

Nothing tastes better than the taste of True Vermont Maple Syrup. This is the most loved natural sweetener from the Green Mountains of the state. Checkout maple syrup and maple recipes at Goodrich’s Maple Farm Facebook Page.

A 40,000 tap operation. Enjoy free educational tours of the maple process & their sugarhouse. Bus tours welcome. Large groups welcome. Learn all about Vermont maple from their trees to your table. Gift shop, taster's table. Retail, Wholesale & Mail order. Maple syrup, candies & confections. Local Crafts & Gifts. Conveniently located on US RT 2, in Cabot, VT, just minutes from other local Northeast Kingdom attractions. Handicapped accessible. Sugar on snow parties in season.

Bragg Farm Sugar House & Gift Shop

Visit their Maple Ice Cream Parlor, Gift Shop, and Tasting Table to view a great selection of Vermont items and specially selected maple products and cheese. Shop their retail gift shop and ice cream parlor.

vermont maple syrup sugar making

Vermont Maple Syrup Recipes

You can order Vermont maple syrup here and get started with some of the following recipes below, which are from the May 3, 1922, issue of the Orleans County Monitor:
Courtesy of the Vermont Northland Journal

  1. Maple Candy
    Two cups maple honey, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoonful soda, lump of butter half as big as an egg.
    Boil until brittle when dropped in water and then take off and cool on plates. When cold, pull and cut up.
  2. Maple Cream
    Two cups of maple sugar, one-half cup of cream.
    Let it boil until it hairs [forms threads off the side of the spoon] and then stir in one cup of nuts, butternuts
    preferable.
    Pour into buttered tins and when nearly cold cut in squares.
  3. Maple Sugar Fudge
    Two cups of white sugar, one cup of maple sugar, two-thirds cup of sweet milk. Cook 12 minutes after it begins to boil. Remove from stove and add a piece of butter the size of a walnut and 1 cup of walnut meats. Stir until it thickens then pour into a buttered tin. When nearly cold cut in squares.

A few More Maple Syrup Recipes – Order Vermont Maple Syrup here

  1. Maple syrup pudding: Combine 1 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Pour into individual serving dishes and chill in the fridge until set.
  2. Maple syrup cookies: Cream together 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  3. Maple syrup ice cream: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 cup of whole milk, 3/4 cup of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Once the mixture has cooled, churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.
  4. Maple syrup granola: Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of chopped nuts (such as almonds or pecans), 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and fragrant. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  5. Maple syrup bread pudding: Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups of stale bread cubes, 2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup of butter, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pudding is set and the top is golden brown.
  6. Maple syrup fudge: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of mini marshmallows and 1 cup of chocolate chips until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the fudge into a greased 8×8-inch pan and refrigerate until set.

A Sweet Bit of History – Making Maple Syrup in Vermont

The following article is from the December 20, 1873, issue of the Essex County Herald:

Maple Sugar Making

The manufacture of Maple Sugar is an important interest to farmers in this vicinity, and the idea of making a superior article is getting to be of greater moment every year.

Now is a good time to think and get ready to act. The first requisite is neatness or cleanliness, in everything pertaining to the business.

Harvesting Maple Sap

In tapping the tree one-half inch hole is big enough, cut with an instrument that will cut as smooth and with as little bruising as possible so as to leave the grains open. As to the depth, the outside grains are the best, but the sap circulates freely so far as the wood is white some time during the season.

vermont maple sugar house

To bore through to where the wood is colored is injurious. Some kind of spout or conductor with a small aperture fitting the hole nicely so as to make tight without marring the tree unnecessarily and prevent the hole from seasoning, which very quickly checks the flow of sap. Catch in wooden buckets, kept clean and sweet by washing and scalding. Tin buckets will make white sugar, but as the season advances sugar made from sap caught in tin buckets will have terribly repulsive and disagreeable taste, caused by the action of the sun on the tin. If one wishes to make a nice article be must gather often, even if sap runs slowly. Boil quickly in shallow pans with skimmer in hand; have a hand to stand right over it and give his or her whole attention to it, and you can have the sap in your boiling pan quite shallow and boil very rapidly, putting in cold sap often and skimming continually.

Boiling Maple Sap

Boil small batches, washing your boiling pan often. The heater with tubes is saving of wood, does the work rapidly, but boils in the scum and so colors the sugar. We prefer fine even threaded cotton cloth for strainer, running it through before it gets so sweet as not to go through readily.

making maple syrup

Now for some of the things we have to contend with. One of the worst is silex or silicia [silicic] acid, more or less pervading the sap as it comes from the tree, colorless and kept nearly so if you are particular; if careless, a black gritty substance on the boiling pan and in the sugar. This substance is not discernable till near the granulating point or very thick molasses. It can be got rid of in this state by settling. Another difficulty is the grit or dust blown from the bark and lichens on the trees, some of which will go through almost any filter or strainer; the remedy for this is skimming and settling.

Making Maple Syrup

Another thing to contend with is rinsing from maple bark in stormy weather, which not only colors but is better when it is very bad. I throw it away sometimes and sometimes boil it but do not put it into the market.
After all, sourness or acidity is the most troublesome thing in the manufacture of sugar to contend with. Washing and scalding are my remedies. Those using the patent evaporators, so far as I have been acquainted, come very short of making as white sugar as we are able to with the common pan. When the Vermont State Fair met at St. Johnsbury, the specimens presented there from the evaporator were decidedly inferior to what we are able to manufacture with common pan. Cooling and heating have a tendency to color the syrup.

If there is anything in the sap before it is boiled that can be filtered out, it is well to do so. If these few hints shall help anyone to improve the quality of their sugar the desired object of the writer will be gained.

Lunenburg, Vt., Dec. 15, 1873

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