In New Hampshire, we take our maple syrup very seriously. So seriously in fact, we celebrate Maple Sugaring Month every March. This year is no different, and here in the Monadnock Region consider ourselves fortunate to have many sugar houses nearby.
So what does Maple Sugaring Month entail? Well, not only does it mean you can celebrate the art and business of making maple syrup, but also support local sugar shacks and producers within the state. Each weekend during the Maple Month, participating sugar shacks open their doors to the public and allow visitors to come and see the process of making syrup. Most places spoil their visitors further, offering test tasting of their products.
Here in the Monadnock Region, we’re home to many sugar houses. Closest to Peterborough, one would find Ben’s Sugar Shack, a locally owned sugar house that has been producing maple products for over ten years. Ben’s has become so popular that its products have recently been picked up by a local supermarket chain, and the company is planning on expanding their property. It’s been a treat for us in more ways than one to see the company become so big and popular. A little ways from Ben’s is Connolly Brother’s Dairy Farm. The family run business is most well-known for their ice cream and other dairy products, but make their own maple syrup as well. They even include their maple syrup in their ice cream!
On March 25th & 26th, Maple Month will be celebrating their 22nd annual Maple Weekend. Participating sugar shacks will have special events for guests like pancake breakfasts, hay rides and maple grade sampling. Here is a list of events, and other activities planned!
While checking out all those sugar shacks and sampling the syrup is an exciting experience, the creative use of maple to flavor foods is a local art, too. A regional must, Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason is one of the most popular restaurants for a hearty country breakfast accompanied by their own maple syrup. Waiting for a table just means touring the sugar shack and gift shop on site! If you don’t have time for breakfast, then the best way to kick back and enjoy maple along with dinner is at The Hancock Inn, where they make a fabulous maple margarita. East Hill Farm offers a marvelous maple corned beef entrée at their annual Maple Madness Dinner as well. Want something for after dinner? Ava Marie’s Chocolates in downtown Peterborough sells maple chocolates that are decadent in just the right way.
At the Jack Daniels Inn we celebrate our love of maple with our Maple and Mud Package, where we provide maple syrup and chocolate samples from some of the amazing places in the area, along with a dining voucher at one of four restaurants in town, and map of sugar shacks, farms and chocolate shops. We could go on and on about all of the fantastic maple offerings the Monadnock Region has, but experiencing it for yourself is the best way to enjoy them all.