I don’t know about you but I’m about over the whole pumpkin craze that shows up each fall. I mean, I know people love their pumpkin but does it really have to be in every. single. thing? Seriously, I’m done and ready to move onto something else. Step Aside Pumpkin There’s A New Flavor Trend: Maple
Best known as the key ingredient in the sweet substance poured over pancakes, maple is well on its way to becoming the next big fall flavor. According to Google Trends, searches have risen significantly since September 3. Mentions of the flavor in nonalcoholic beverages have increased 86% over last year, while pumpkin mentions are down 20%. And with consumer fatigue of pumpkin spice, maple is poised to be the next big thing. The good folks over in Pennsylvania agree as they host a number of experiences across the state that you should check out.
PENNSYLVANIA MAPLE FUN
· Tioga County is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular destinations to discover great products and production facilities. Visit Brookfield Maple Products, which earned a great reputation for its certified organic producers, while nearby Patterson Maple Farms is known for its syrups and product line and is the largest producer in the state.
· When mid-February sap season arrives in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Loch family begins the generational practice of tapping the trees. Loch’s Maple begins producing the popular Made-in-PA product used for the family’s popular syrups, candies and Loch’s signature “Maple Popcorn” – an Endless Mountains favorite confection!
· Grab the family and enjoy the syrup operations at Andy’s Own Pure Maple Syrup in Indiana. This fourth-generation family business has been producing syrup for more than 50 years. Every spring, more than 200 gallons of syrup are extracted from over 700 local trees. The interactive experience blends modern equipment and traditional values to make some of the best syrup around!
Note: A majority of these festivals take place late winter/early spring, as maple harvest season begins in the middle of February and lasts through the arrival of warm spring nights.
· There’s no better place to experience syrup than in the Laurel Highlands at the Pennsylvania Maple Festival, March 17-18 and March 21-25, 2018. Maple season festivities culminate at the annual festival in Meyersdale, Pa., a.k.a. “Maple City USA.” The festival features a variety of activities including syrup production demonstrations, live entertainment, children’s activities and tractor shows. Pro tip: Don’t miss the Grand Feature Parade, Lions Club pancake breakfasts and “Legend of the Magic Water,” a historical pageant brought to life by more than 100 local residents to depict the discovery of syrup, as well as the history!
· Head to Camp Eder in late February/early March for Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve’s Maple Madness event. Tucked into the wooded outskirts of historic Gettysburg, Camp Eder is an ideal setting for a wintertime outing. Gather the family and spend the day outdoors while learning about the process of sugaring – from tapping the tree to turning the sap into sweet, pure syrup. The day also features a pancake breakfast with perfect pancakes for syrup drizzling, plus sausage, eggs and more to savor your taste buds!
· Attend the Maple Weekend Taste and Tour, held every March in Somerset County. The free, self-guided tour hosted by the Somerset County Maple Producers Association has grown to include 15 sugar camps. Visitors can explore any of the farms on the tour to learn about syrup production, traditions, and sample products from those who know maple best.
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