Maple Sunday Offers Tasty, Educational Experiences

Chandler's Sugar Shack, located just outside of Topsfield, is welcoming all visitors during Maine Maple Sunday to share in the experience of making and tasting maple syrup and related treats. The event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 25th. (Submitted photo)

By Lura Jackson

 

The condensed sap of maple trees has been a reliable food source in the Northeast for thousands of years, sweetening the lives of local inhabitants with seasonal regularity. With spring approaching, the sap is flowing, and for maple syrup producers like Chandler’s Sugar Shack near Topsfield, that means all operations are at full steam. As part of Maine Maple Sunday, scheduled this year on March 25th, the Chandlers are inviting the extended Washington County community to come and see how the dark, sweet syrup is made – along with a variety of treats improved by its inclusion.

“Our kitchen will have maple syrup, maple cream, maple cookies, ice cream with syrup, maple popcorn, maple granola, maple baked beans, and free coffee,” shared Jaime Chandler. She added that there would be additional items for sale, including maple cotton candy, maple cream, maple candy, and tee shirts.

While being able to sample such a wealth of tasty dishes is certainly a strong draw to the event, attendees will also be able to learn each step of the process of maple syrup production. The day will have regular tours of the sugar house, provide information on how the trees are tapped, demonstrate the collection, transportation, evaporation, and storage of sap, explore the usage of the reverse osmosis machine, showcase the bottling process, and highlight the production of maple cream and maple cotton candy.

For the Chandlers, who began producing syrup in 2007 and started participating in Maine Maple Sunday in 2011, the event is an opportunity to connect with the community and share in the production of their primary product. “Maine Maple Sunday gives other families the opportunity to see how maple syrup is made,” Chandler said, explaining that the process had changed over the years for some producers. “We enjoy explaining to others how we do it and the benefits of eating maple syrup compared to other sweeteners. What we hope is that families can come to our sugarhouse and have an educational and enjoyable experience.”

Chandler’s Sugar Shack is located in Kossuth Township, about 12 miles west of the Topsfield Route 1 and Route 6 intersection. There will be signs out on Maple Sunday to direct visitors, who are welcome to come any time between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The business is able to accept cash and personal checks at this time. For more information, visit www.chandlerssugarshack.com.