What are your thoughts on maple syrup? Are you a Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima lover, or do you go straight for the good stuff, pure maple syrup? I’m not ashamed to admit I spent my childhood smothering my pancakes and French toast with thick pools of Log Cabin. I had no interest in “real” maple syrup, and it was rarely found in our refrigerator.
I don’t really know when my tastes began to change, sometime in my 20′s maybe. Now, once in a while a little dose of fake syrup is fun for nostalgia, but I’m all about pure maple syrup.
Did you know that New York has more maple trees than Canada, but produces far less maple syrup? Pretty shocking, right?!
I learned this fun fact last month when L & I visted Madava Farms, home of Crown Maple Syrup. After stumbling across an article about this local maple producer, in the New York Times, L & I headed north to Dutchess County to check it out. What a beautiful area and fun place to visit!
The drive up to the farm takes you along a winding dirt road, surrouned on both sides by a maze of a seemingly endless sea of maple trees, all linked together by a system of hoses of pipes. I lost count of how many times I exclaimed how cool this sight was! Pulling up to Madava Farm was nothing like I expected, although, I guess I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. In a word, it was grand, and reminded me more of a Napa Valley winery than what I expected to see at a maple farm.
We had such a great time touring the sugarhouse (which is huge!), and learning about the production process from the time the tree is tapped to the syrup getting bottled. My favorite part was definitely the visit to the tasting room at the end of the tour! We tasted both light and dark amber syrup, maple sugar and maple-infused chocolate…I never wanted to sampling to end.
I can’t wait to go back later this summer to stock up on more of this amazing syrup, sample the menu in their cafe and check out the chef’s garden!
This Maple Quinoa Granola, inspired by my visit to Madava Farms, captures everything I love in a great granola recipe. It’s lightly sweetened with Crown Maple syrup (feel free to use your favorite kind of pure maple syrup), and complimented with a little olive oil for a hint of savory. And the combination of uncooked quinoa and toasted nuts and seeds give this granola some added texture and crunch.
The folks at Crown Maple did not ask me to write this, I simply love their product and want to share it with you.