Celebrate maple sugaring season in Boston

March is the peak month for maple syrup production.

A person leans over cast iron pots boiling over an open fire outdoors for maple sugaring.

Boiling is just one step of the maple sugaring process.

Photo by Kristin Foresto via Mass Audubon

Smell that? That’s the sweet and warm aroma of maple season. Did you know that maple syrup is made right here in Massachusetts?

The process

Maple sugaring dates back to the early 1600s, the process for which was created by the Indigenous peoples of North America. There are many steps to making maple syrup, but it essentially involves tapping a tree and boiling the sap. See the maple sugaring process in action.

Let’s dive into some of the numbers from Mass Audubon:

  • 50,000-60,000 gallons. That’s the amount of maple syrup Massachusetts produces every year.
  • 40-50 gallons. The amount of raw sugar maple sap necessary to produce a single gallon.
  • 2%. The average concentration of sugar in Sugar Maple sap. That relatively high concentration is why Sugar Maples are considered the best for syrup production.
  • 66-67%. The sugar concentration of the final product — maple syrup.
Several trees with tin cans attached to their trunks for maple sugaring.

There are 13 species of maple trees native to North America, but only four can be used for syrup.

Photo by Kristin Foresto via Mass Audubon

How to partake this year

You don’t have to go far to celebrate sugaring season. Check out Maple Fest at the Charles River Speedway in Brighton this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rite Tea & Espresso will serve a full maple menu, Super Bien will have waffle empanadas, and stop by Pizza Project for a maple BBQ pizza. Bonus: Koji Club will have a maple water sake, brewed by Farthest Star Sake in Medford.

A wooden table with eggs, bacon, and pancakes, roast potatoes, and a chocolate chip waffle, backdropped by a bottle of North Hadley Sugar Shack syrup.

North Hadley Sugar Shack specials are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Photo via North Hadley Sugar Shack

Enjoy a maple-themed breakfast and demonstrations at the North Hadley Sugar Shack. Expect a ~two-hour drive from Boston. Might we recommend this podcast about the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919?

Or try the Sugaring Off Festival at the Weston Middle School Sugar House on Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Take a free sugar house tour and see the process of boiling sap into syrup. You’ll only need to drive ~30 minutes for this one.

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