If you’re reading this on Sunday, March 25th, you still have time to drive to your closest participating farm and score some of the best maple syrup in the world. Click here for the whole 35th anniversary story and for a map of participating producers.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are the times for the one I just attended at Bacon Farm in Sidney.
Maine Maple Sunday is always held on the fourth Sunday in March, at the height of maple syrup season. In fact, the vessels are steaming and the sap is running while you wait in line to get a sample, in my case, of Gifford’s ice cream doused with pure, smooth maple syrup.
The staff serving up the frozen treats estimate that they will scoop 4000 portions of vanilla with syrup topping, based on the number of cups they used yesterday. In this remote area of Sidney, studded with hayfields, houses and the New England Music Camp, traffic is uncharacteristically non-stop and parked vehicles line both sides of the long country road.
Waiting in line, you meet people who drive from around the corner or from miles away. Everyone commiserates in a good-natured way about the wait in the sudden snow shower, bundled-up babies toddle toward friendly dogs – – it’s a social event in itself.
Then you get to the store and the goodies await. By then, you’ve slurped up the ice-cream and gotten a taste of the real deal. Now you know why it’s worth the money to buy only the best maple syrup. Aunt Jemima, move over.
Here is a link to the map of producers participating: hurry, time is running out.
Kate Cone is the author of What’s Brewing in New England: A Guide to Brewpubs and Craft Breweries. She is using her maple “nip” to make a glaze for salmon. Nom