January - Apple Pie Healing
The Bitter Cold of New England
February - Chocolate Brownies
March - Maple Syrup Cheese Cake
Massachusetts Maple Syrup Factory
April - Boston Cream Pie
Boston and Boston Bags
May - Giant Decoration Cake
The Star of the Graduation Party
June- Bake Sale
Labor, Reward and Fun!
July - Strawberry Shortcake
August - Cranberry Bread
September - Muffins
Memories of a College Student
October - Punpkin Pie
November - Indian Pudding
December - Fruit Cake
Spring comes late to New England in America's northeast. The sun shines like it is spring, but the winds smack of the cool and parts of the rippling springs remain frozen. The grass knows that it’s spring and push their new shoots to the surface. The trees slowly come to life and sap begins to build from under the dried bark. This is the time when maple syrup, a specialty of New England, starts production.
Maple syrup is the sap of maples. This liquid which is a sweet and rich champagne color, is a sugar, or a caramel, it is subtle yet full of nature’s richness. I visited a maple syrup factory deep among the forest of maples on Mt. Massachusetts, that is run by a collective of farmers.
Syrup runs from pipes that spring from holes in the trunks of the maple trees through to the factory where it is collected and refined. In the small naive dining area, the local farmers also make home-made maple syrup cheese cake.
American cheese cakes are made by baking a mixture of cream cheese, eggs, sugar and so on, while not as light as Japanese baked cheese cakes, the pie pastry is moist and heavy. In the case of the plain cheese cake, it’s most likely that it is covered in cherry sauce which is commonly referred to as a New York Cheese Cake, but there are many other variations also.
In addition to maple syrup flavor, there is also chocolate, mocha, hazelnut and so on. They all taste great but the only flavor that isn’t drowned out by the cream cheese is maple syrup with its distinct taste of spring.
Just like the days when sugar was a valued commodity, maple syrup was a natural treasure to those who lived on the land. People celebrated the coming of spring and the sweet syrup both at the same time. Even nowadays, maple syrup is used as an ingredient that brings back the flavors of those days past.