March 22, 2007

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A taste of genuine sweetness
Sample real maple syrup during New Hampshire Maple Syrup Weekend
By Susan Reilly  news@hippopress.com

Maple syrup makes almost everything taste better.

A swirl of maple syrup can entice a kid to actually eat vegetables. For adults, this amber nectar heightens the flavor of salmon, brussel ssprouts and, when reduced with milk, makes a fabulous dulce de leche-like sauce.

Maple trees, indigenous to the northeastern US and Canada, put us smack dab in the middle of maple syrup country.

But not all maple syrup is really maple syrup. Most of the stuff you would pick up in the supermarket has single-digit percentages of the real syrup or extract and the rest is corn syrup. If you have never tasted pure maple syrup, invest in a bottle of the real deal.

Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25 is New Hampshire Maple Syrup Weekend. Across the state 50 sugar shacks will open their doors and turn you on to the joys of 100 percent maple syrup. The New Hampshire maple producers have a complete list of weekend events and sugarhouses statewide at www.nhmapleproducers.com.

Other maple treats found locally include maple roasted coffee, maple baked beans and maple roasted ribs, all available at Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason. At Riley Mountain Maple in Milford, they sell maple jelly, maple salt and maple pepper amongst a variety of other unusual maple items. Maple Lane in Concord sells Indian sugar, a form of crystallized maple.

Maple syrup isn’t just limited to a jug on your kitchen table. In southern New Hampshire, there is no shortage of dishes spiked with maple.

Probably the most abundant use of maple is at the Common Man family of restaurants. Look for a butternut tortellacei ($5.99) served in a maple cream sauce and a pumpkin-cranberry crusted chicken served with a bacon maple gaze ($15.99) and spare ribs brushed with a molasses maple sauce ($15.99).

Manhattan on Pearl Chef Michael Dussault likes to use New England flavors. A mainstay on his menu is the batatas ravioli which are maple sweet potato raviolis served with toasted pecans and a maple butter.

In Derry, Pinkerton Tavern serves up scallops ($10.99 starter) which are wrapped in bacon and roasted with a glaze of maple syrup or served with a NY strip steak ($19.99).

Get sappy
Here are a few of the local maple sugar houses. For a complete listing of maple sugar farms in the state go to www.nhmapleproducers.com.
• Folsom’s Sugar House, 130 Candia Road, Chester, 524-7673. Open Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The house offers up samples of syrup, cream and candy. Maple syrup is for sale and tours run throughout the day.
• Hutchinson Family Sugar House, 271 Hackleboro Road, Canterbury, 783-4691. Open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sugaring off party will be held on Sunday and feature live music and dance. Also regularly available are sap coffee, doughnuts, sugar on snow, maple candy, cream and syrup products.
• Maple Butternut Farm, 184 Francestown Road, sugarhouse located on Pine EchoRd., Rt.136, New Boston, 487-5508. Open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the wood-fired evaporator. Available treats include free coffee, homemade doughnuts and syrup samples. Syrup is for sale.
• Parker’s Maple Barn, 1316 Brookline Road, Mason, 878-2308. Open Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Samples of syrup and tours of the sugar house are available.
• Peterson Sugar House, 28 Peabody Row, Londonderry, 432-8427. Open Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Peterson offers guided tours of the sugar house, with sampling of maple syrup on maple walnut ice cream with maple pecans. All maple products are for sale.
• Tamarack Farm, 125 Asby Road, Canterbury, 783-9226. Open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Farm offers horse-drawn rides, farm animals, sugar on snow and a free tasting.
• Dean & Meg Wilber, 99 Oak Hill Road, east Concord, 224-0820. Open Saturday only, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Available treats include coffee, sugar on snow and samples of various maple products.



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A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
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A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch