March is Maple Month in Massachusetts and Franklin County sugarhouses are yielding the first taste of spring as the maple sap begins to flow. Whether you kick off spring with breakfast at a sugarhouse or pick up fresh maple products including syrup, candy, spread, or other maple items, there are delicious options awaiting.
570 Mohawk Trail (Route 2), Shelburne, MA 413-625-6170
Open daily, 8:30 am - 2 pm
The Goulds have been sugaring for 60 years and this landmark restaurant on Rt. 2 serves a full maple breakfast complete with their signature corn fritters, homemade pickles and even sugar on snow. While you are waiting for your table - generally a long wait during sugar season - you can watch the evaporator in the sugarhouse, check out the gift shop and have a 25 cent maple ice cream cone. Besides a great breakfast, the restaurant offers scenic views of the hills. After breakfast, browse the shops in nearby Shelburne Falls.
491 Greenfield Road, Deerfield, MA 413-773-5186
Open Sat & Sun 8 am – 3 pm
Davenport Farm Sugarhouse
111 Tower Rd, Shelburne, MA 413-625-2866
Sugar house open weekends March through October 8am-3pm
In existence since 1770, this scenic farm has 2500 tree taps. The warm homey restaurant is set up with patrons seated together at large tables for the opportunity to strike up conversations with new friends. The “from scratch” menu features a full breakfast including their popular Finnish pancakes, an oven cooked custardy cross between Yorkshire pudding and pancake. After putting your name in for a table, the lower level offers viewing of the working evaporator and a chance to ask questions about the syrup process. Be sure to find the stained glass window of maple samples.
Hager’s Farm Market
1232 Mohawk Trail (Route 2) Shelburne, MA 413-625-6323
Monday-Friday 6:30 am – 6:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 7:30 am – 6:30 pm
Hager’s Market has a nice selection of products from their maple farm including syrup, maple coated nuts, dips, popcorn and more. You can even get breakfast including pancakes, maple pecan waffles, and cider donuts with maple cream. During Mass Maple Weekend, they feature fried dough with maple cream, host boiling and cooking demonstrations, and offer kid friendly activities. While there, you can pick up other local products including Hager's own beef, pork, fresh bread, frozen pies, spices, local beer and wine, produce and more. If you prefer to stay home, you can shop their maple products online.
Cook with Maple
Come indulge in a weekend in Franklin County at an Inn or B&B and be treated to a delicious breakfast! Or creatively use your syrup in a recipe like this one from Centennial House Bed and Breakfast, placing as a finalist in Beadandbreakfast.com's recipe contest.
Baked Eggs in Acorn Squash with Maple Glaze
Select an acorn squash that will yield three or four 1 inch slices when cut around the circumference.
Holding the squash on its side, carefully cut three or four 1 inch slices with a sharp knife, one for each person. Clean seeds out of the centers and trim the center to create a nice circle.
Lay slices in a 13x9 baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water; bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until soft.
When done, remove slices carefully from water, dry off and lay on a greased two-sided grill or panini maker. Break two eggs into each slice. You may have to drain off a bit of the egg white to make them fit. brush with maple syrup. Grill for about five minutes, either turn carefully or close the lid three or four minutes make sure both sides get nicely browned and eggs are no longer moving.
Brush again with syrup just before serving. The finished slices go well with home fries.
Find a complete list of Massachusetts sugarhouses and facts about sugaring on the Massachusetts Maple Association website.
Work off your maple breakfast with some winter adventure in Franklin County.