A few weekends ago, Kurt's parents were in town for a visit. They come pretty often, so we're always trying to find new and interesting things to do with them in the area. Kurt and his dad have been geeking out over maple syrup all winter/spring, so we found a farm (aka a 'sugar bush' so I'm told) to visit a couple hours outside the city.
We had a tour scheduled for early afternoon but took a wrong turn (we're on a bridge?! what are we doing on a bridge?!) that delayed us a bit. Kurt called the farm and they graciously agreed to let us come to the later tour, so we had some time to kill and stopped for lunch in Cold Spring, New York. It was a cute little town with antique shops and local cafes. It's an easy Metro North stop outside the city, so we might have to go back to explore sometime.
Finally, we arrived at Madava Farms for our tour!
Driving up to the farm, you can see all the maple trees with taps and a complex network of tubes to collect the sap.
On the tour we got to learn all about the sap collection and how it gets made into maple syrup. Our tour guides were incredibly nice and very knowledgable. Kurt and his dad even got to pick the brain of the head 'syrup engineer' (I just made that up. I don't really know his title.) and chat about their own homemade syrups.
They have a pretty state of the art operation for a relatively new farm. The term "reverse osmosis" was used and made me look at maple syrup in a whole new light.
After the tour, we got to do a tasting of all Crown Maple's different varieties: Light Amber, Medium Amber, Dark Amber, Extra Dark, and Maple Sugar. After a few tastes, it was hard to tell them apart but they were all delicious. Our tour guides gave lots of ideas for using syrup in recipes beyond the basic pancakes and waffles. I'm excited to try some maple syrup cocktails.
I also want to get my hands on the Crown Maple + Mast Brothers Chocolate collaboration! I'm kicking myself for not buying a bar while we were there.
We had a really great time visiting the farm (I know Kurt and his dad were beside themselves with glee) and would suggest it as a fun little jaunt outside the city. It's not too far from Dia:Beacon, so you could easily make an Upstate NY day of it!
**Kurt would like to emphasize the point that both he and his dad made maple syrup this spring. In his first year of production, Kurt collected his sap from an undisclosed location and boiled it down in our Brooklyn kitchen. [I had the pleasure of cleaning up a few sugary messes and having every single pot we own occupied constantly. Thankfully the season is short.] Kurt's dad has been making maple syrup for years at home in Ohio. He even brought a sample to share with Madava Farm's 'head syrup engineer' who was very impressed. While Kurt's parents were in town, we also had a pancake breakfast to test which Martig makes the best syrup. Better luck next year, Kurt.**