As the leaves change color and fall rolls in, grocery stores and coffee shops fill their shelves with all things pumpkin. From lattes to cereal and even dog food, the pumpkin spice craze has swept our nation in the last few years. But this year, the trendy fall flavor may have met its match: maple.
Best known as the key ingredient in the sweet substance poured over pancakes, maple is well on its way to becoming the next big fall flavor. According to Google Trends, maple-related searches have risen significantly since September 3. Mentions of maple as a flavor in nonalcoholic beverages have increased 86% over last year, while pumpkin mentions are down 20%. And with consumer fatigue of pumpkin spice, maple is poised to be the next big thing.
You probably associate maple with Vermont and Canada, but you might be surprised to learn that maple flourishes in Pennsylvania, offering endless opportunities for tours, festivals, tree-tapping demonstrations and plenty of treats and recipes.
Given the rising trend and its popularity, we thought you might be interested in writing a story about maple experiences across Pennsylvania, or the Northeast. We’ve listed just a few you can find in Pennsylvania below:
Maple Farms in Pennsylvania
Tioga County is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular destinations to discover the great maple products and production facilities. Visit Brookfield Maple Products,which earned a great reputation for its certified organic maple producers, while nearby Patterson Maple Farms is known for its syrups and product line and is the largest maple producer in the state.
When mid-February sap season arrives in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Loch family begins the generational practice of tapping the trees. Loch’s Maple begins producing the popular Made-in-PA product used for the family’s popular syrups, candies and Loch’s signature “Maple Popcorn” – an Endless Mountains favorite confection!
Grab the family and enjoy the maple syrup operations at Andy’s Own Pure Maple Syrup in Indiana. This fourth-generation family business has been producing maple syrup for more than 50 years. Every spring, more than 200 gallons of syrup are extracted from over 700 local trees. The interactive experience blends modern equipment and traditional values to make some of the best maple syrup around!
Maple Festivals in Pennsylvania
Note: A majority of these festivals take place late winter/early spring, as maple harvest season begins in the middle of February and lasts through the arrival of warm spring nights.
There’s no better place to experience maple syrup than in the Laurel Highlands at the Pennsylvania Maple Festival, March 17-18 and March 21-25, 2018. Maple season festivities culminate at the annual festival in Meyersdale, Pa., a.k.a. “Maple City USA.” The festival features a variety of activities including maple syrup production demonstrations, live entertainment, children’s activities and tractor shows. Pro tip: Don’t miss the Grand Feature Parade, Lions Club pancake breakfasts and “Legend of the Magic Water,” a historical pageant brought to life by more than 100 local residents to depict the discovery of maple syrup, as well as the history!
Head to Camp Eder in late February/early March for Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve’s Maple Madness event. Tucked into the wooded outskirts of historic Gettysburg, Camp Eder is an ideal setting for a wintertime outing. Gather the family and spend the day outdoors while learning about the process of maple sugaring – from tapping the tree to turning the sap into sweet, pure syrup. The day also features a pancake breakfast with perfect pancakes for maple syrup drizzling, plus sausage, eggs and more to savor your taste buds!
Attend the Maple Weekend Taste and Tour, held every March in Somerset County. The free, self-guided tour hosted by the Somerset County Maple Producers Association has grown to include 15 sugar camps. Visitors can explore any of the farms on the tour to learn about maple syrup production, traditions and sample maple products from those who know maple best.
…And of course, for those tried-and-true pumpkin fans, Pennsylvania has all the PYO pumpkin patches their heart could desire.
What do you think? Is maple the next big fall flavor trend?