Maine’s Kennebec Valley—home to maple syrup
The region’s abundant sugar and rock maple trees in the northern part of Maine’s Kennebec Valley enjoy a long wintery nap from November to around the middle of February. Then, when the days start to get a little longer (and the nights stay wicked cold), the roots of these miraculous trees send out the call that springtime is on its way. It is then that the maple trees begin to produce what will become some of the sweetest and most delectable edibles on earth.
Did you know? Somerset County in Maine is the largest maple syrup-producing county in the U.S.
Maine Maple Sunday, March 28, 2021
There is no better place to celebrate all things maple than in Maine’s Kennebec Valley. Always the fourth Sunday in March, sugarhouses across the region open up the doors to their barns and welcome visitors to get a taste of that sweet stuff.
Maine maple syrup reflects tradition, science, and innovation, all while relying heavily on unpredictable weather. At its core, it is an age-old process, from bucket to evaporator to bottle. But every sugar-maker has stories that describe why their syrup is the best you’ve ever had.
Making the Maple Syrup Grade
All Maine maple syrup commercially sold is U.S. Grade A quality, as defined by Maine law. The syrup is further classified by flavor and color characteristics, and the name Maine Maple Syrup can only be used on pure maple syrup produced in Maine.
Grade A: Golden Color with Delicate Flavor
The syrup is generally early season syrup with a ﬁne pronounced sweetness and a delicate maple ﬂavor. This syrup is excellent for pancakes, wafﬂes, French toast, and as an ice cream topping.
Grade A: Amber Color with Rich Flavor
With a slightly stronger ﬂavor and a noticeable darker color, this syrup is by far the most popular choice for all-purpose syrup. This grade has a rich, full-bodied taste that makes it the perfect complement to most foods. This is the syrup of choice for true maple fans.
Grade A: Dark Color with Robust Flavor
Boasting a much darker color and a stronger, more robust maple ﬂavor this variety is less desirable as a table syrup. Preferred for use in baking and cooking, it is great to pour over baked apples or squash or use as a glaze on salmon, meats, and vegetables.
Grade A: Very Dark Color with Strong Flavor
This generally very late season syrup is extensively used in foods and recipes where a strong maple presence is desired. Excellent in cookies, loaves of bread, and the classic New England baked beans.
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Other Visitor Resources: Maine Maole Producers