How sweet it is!

It’s that time of the year when the nights drop below freezing and the days warm close to 40 degrees. That means something big to me…..maple sugar season has begun. That magical time of year when Vermont’s prize maple trees produce gallons of sap used to make one of nature’s best sweeteners.

Maple Syrup sign

It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup and many hours of boiling from some dedicated syrup makers. We get our table syrup from Green Mountain Sugar House; just down the road. BUT, I’ve been getting some great grade B dark syrup (not called that now – VT just changed the grading system) from Newhall Farm on my way to the inn from my home. This grade is considered cooking syrup because of its darker color and stronger flavor. That makes it a perfect syrup to make our very popular Maple Pot du Crème dessert.  Many guests tell us it’s the perfect end to a great meal.

Maple Glazed Chicken

Maple Glazed Chicken

But why stop there? Why not use maple syrup in other dishes? How about making maple Dijon instead of honey Dijon sauce for a twist on a traditional chicken dish? Maple syrup also makes a nice sweetener for salad dressings. We make a maple Dijon dressing for our baby spinach, dried cranberry and VT goat cheese salad; another guest favorite. You can substitute maple for honey in most cases. Bartender Neal makes some great drinks utilizing maple syrup. I know, I’ve tried a few!!! So what’s my point? Maple syrup isn’t just for breakfast anymore.  Try it for yourself.

Until next time,

Chef Kevin

Photo: Pinterest VIA; Echo Lake Inn