Can you smell it? It’s sweet. It’s a beautiful amber color. It’s New Hampshire Maple Syrup being made all across the state. Last week, we spent a day enjoying a front row seat at our friends’ Sugar Shack in Alexandria while they worked their magic.
It may seem like a simple project to collect sap and boil it down. But, it takes a lot of planning and hard work. There were the twelve cords of wood that had to be chopped and stacked, miles of lines that had to be set, and trees that had to be individually tapped.
Once the days warmed up but the nights continued to stay cold, the sap started flowing into the collection tanks at their various sites. It then has to be pumped into the tank in the back of the truck, transported and pumped into the tank on the side of the building where it flows into the evaporator inside. The sap is boiled down at around 218 degrees.
Once is reaches the correct temperature, it is run through a filter press and then a canner to fill the bottles. It takes approximately forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of Maple Syrup.
In case you ever wondered why pure Maple Syrup is so expensive, it is definitely the amount of work required to produce it. Once the sap starts flowing the work continues non stop until the end of the season. The end of the season includes quite a lengthy clean up process in the shack and with the lines and spiles used to tap the tree.
If you’re ever in the area, boiling starts around 4 a.m. Stop on by but be sure to wear layers because you’ll be taking them off as the temperature starts to rise. It gets hot in there.
I’d give you contact info but they are sold out every year before they even start the season. I thank my lucky stars that they gift their friends with it. Pure New Hampshire Maple Syrup is a gift that is never returned or exchanged. 🙂
“There’s a crazy little shack beyond the tracks, And ev’rybody calls it the sugar shack…”
Have a great week. I’m off to make pancakes so I have something to hold my Maple Syrup. 🙂