You know those gorgeous maple trees that turn yellow, orange and red in the fall? They're beautiful in spring and summer too. But they're best in the late winter because that's when they start storing up all of their sugary goodness for syrup season!
If you’re staying at Cabin on Blake or Cabin on Blake “Too” this spring you’ve got to check out the local maple syrup scene. Our area features several maple syrup operations and you can even get in on the action and learn how to tap a tree of your own. There’s nothing like the taste of pure maple syrup. Once you’ve topped your french toast with the real thing or poured some on your pancakes, you won’t settle for the fake stuff any more!
Here in Wisconsin, maple syrup is collected in the spring when it’s still below freezing at night but the temperature consistently rises above freezing during the day. Once the conditions are right, the trees need to be tapped right away. The whole season can last just a few weeks. It used to be you could see buckets hanging from the tapped trees but most big producers have gone high tech and use tubing to get the sap into the cooking pots as quickly as possible.
It can take up to 30 or 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of pure maple syrup. So much work but such a sweet reward!
Maple syrup can be used in cooking and as a natural sweetener. We’ve heard of people using it not only on waffles, but also on ice cream, grilling meats, mixing cocktails and baking. Just search the internet and you’ll be amazed at all of the options.
If you’re not convinced to stock up on local syrup yet, be sure to visit Glenna Farms, just up the road in Amery. They’ll host MapleFest during the first weekend in April with free pancakes, a free “sap” to “syrup” farm tour and free prize drawings. More info on their website.
For other maple syrup producers in the area, try one of the Wisconsin syrup producers below: