Planning a visit to the Lakes Region during maple sugaring season is a must, say the tourism experts at LRTA. Seeing buckets or tubes protruding from maple trees is common toward the beginning of each year, as maple producers get ready to collect the clear sap that runs out.
Producers bring the sap into sugar houses, where it is boiled down until it becomes maple syrup. Visitors who watch syrup being made at this time will immediately also notice the maple smell, a sweet aroma that’s unmatchable outside the region.
Sugaring season in New Hampshire typically lasts from February to April – though weather may increase or decrease the length of the season each year. In the Granite State, around 90,000 gallons of maple syrup are produced each year, according to the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association. Maple is also used in other original products, such as maple candies, creams, sugars, barbecue sauce and baked goods, among others.
New Hampshire Maple Weekend 2012 is scheduled for March 24-25 – an ideal time to learn more about this special Granite State industry. Whether visitors are looking for a weekend-long education experience or would prefer to discover their own sugar shacks in the region throughout the season, a getaway inspired by maple is the perfect way to see the Lakes Region at this time of year, say the LRTA tourism experts. For more information on accommodations during maple sugaring season, visit the LRTA’s Where to Stay page on its website.
Once visitors have learned all there is to know about maple syrup, the next step – and the best step – is to taste it, of course!
If you don’t want to break into your own stash of syrup while you’re still in the Lakes Region, fear not! A number of eateries offer homemade breakfasts perfect for covering in sweet maple. A full listing of area restaurants can be found on the LRTA’s Where to Dine page on its website.
The Heritage Farm Pancake House in Sanbornton is all about the pancakes. With meals served family style, everyone at the table gets to chow down on the exact same thing – including the restaurant’s own pure homemade maple syrup for covering Heritage’s made-from-scratch pancakes.
Heritage Farm Pancake House is at 16 Parker Hill Road, Sanbornton (603-524-5400, HeritageFarmPancakeHouse.com)
While the Kellerhaus in Weirs Beach may be known for its homemade ice cream and candies, it also has something not found in too many places – a waffle bar! This sweet shop offers a waffle breakfast buffet of sorts, and a number of toppings await customers’ wildest dreams.
Kellerhaus is at 259 Endicott St. North, Weirs Beach (603-366-4466, Kellerhaus.com)
Zero in on the pancakes on the enormous menu at Kitchen Cravings in Gilford. There’s the standard short and long stacks, but also the X-tra Long Stack (four pancakes) and the Animal Shape Pancake. Syrup hasn’t been as fun as it is with an animal pancake – create a mane for your horse or a big tail for your bunny.
Kitchen Cravings is at 15 Airport Road, Gilford (603-528-0001, KitchenCravingsNH.com)
At Morrissey’s Front Porch in Wolfeboro, visitors may want to set their sights – or their appetites – on the French Toast Sandwich. This meal combines two pieces of French toast, two sausage patties and home fries. Think syrup is only good on pancakes or toast? Think again! Breakfast sausage is commonly combined with maple in the area.
Morrissey’s Front Porch is at 286 S. Main St., Wolfeboro (603-569-3662, FrontPorchDining.com)
At The Common Man’s Route 104 Diner and Tilt’n Diner, keep up the classic theme with an old-school Belgian waffle, which comes with either strawberries or blueberries. Syrup and waffles are the perfect combination:
The Route 104 Diner is at 752 Route 104, New Hampton (603-744-0120, TheCMan.com)
The Tilt’n Diner is at 61 Laconia Road, Tilton (603-286-2204, TheCMan.com)
To indulge in some serious sweetness, try the Candy Counter Cakes at Laconia’s Union Diner. Bring your kids – or bring out your inner kid – by pouring maple syrup onto pancake combinations such as the Yummy Nutty (walnuts, pecans and almonds) or the Fluffernutter (peanut butter chips and marshmallow)
The Union Diner is at 1331 Union Ave., Laconia (603-524-6744, TheUnionDiner.com)
For something a little different, order one of the varieties of French toast at the Water Street Café in Laconia. An order of maple walnut, orange cranberry or cinnamon raisin includes three pieces – plenty to let the syrup flow freely over the plate.
The Water Street Café is at 141 Water St., Laconia (603-524-4144, Water-Street-
Not only do plenty of foods taste better with the addition of maple syrup, but even more taste fabulous when they’re fried. The Apple-Cinnamon Fritters at Wolfe’s Tavern at Wolfeboro Inn in Wolfeboro are similar to small pieces of fried dough. Drizzle on the maple syrup, dip in the accompanying vanilla sauce and get ready for a flavor explosion.
Wolfe’s Tavern at Wolfeboro Inn is at 90 N. Main St., Wolfeboro (603-569-3016, WolfesTavern.com)
When it’s time to return home after a trip to the Lakes Region, don’t forget the maple syrup! The sweet stuff is sold year round at area farms, shops and restaurants, and it’s a thoughtful gift that friends and family of all appetites will enjoy. For more information on shops in the region, visit the LRTA’s Where to Shop page on its website. And for more information on upcoming events in the Lakes Region, visit the LRTA’s Event Calendar.
The Lakes Region Tourism Association is the official tourism board of the region, representing close to 100 communities, 273 lakes and ponds, and more than 400 businesses in central New Hampshire, including area attractions, restaurants, retail establishments and accommodations. For more information or visitors guides, visit http://www.LakesRegion.org, http://www.facebook.com/
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