Maple Sugaring Time
As a natural sweetener, maple syrup can’t be beat—its sweetness isn’t overpowering and its smokiness is so distinctive. Sure, it’s good on pancakes and oatmeal, but the folks at the Chepachet Farms & Sugar House have invented so many other great ways to incorporate maple syrup into your meals. Their maple vinaigrette enhances salads and makes an excellent marinade for grilled veggies or meats. The maple walnut syrup (think ice cream or Greek yogurt) can be mixed into muffins or salads. And when fall rolls around, the folks at Chepachet even spin maple cotton candy and make maple peanut brittle! Jody and Neil Esposito put out hundreds of taps around rural Glocester, and at the end of February they begin to collect the sap, which can amount to hundreds of gallons a day. When that sap is boiled down (40 gallons of sap to one gallon of syrup), the Espositos have their signature Grade A Amber Medium syrup. Indeed, for the gatherers as well as the indulgers of maple syrup, there can never be too much of a good thing. Seasonally, the Espositos also offer farm tours, hayrides and sleigh rides for parties and school groups.
Available at specialty stores in northern Rhode Island, Belmont’s Market in Wakefield, at the farm’s shop in Chepachet or ordered by phone. 401.568.9996; ChepachetFarms.com