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Bechard’s Sugar House Sells Sweet, Sugary Treats

Maple candy hangs on the rack next to a tub of maple cream with spoons. The sweet scent from a fresh batch of maple coffee drifts through the sugar house. Maple tea bags and maple sugar lie next to each other on a stand. A stack of home recipes for treats like maple-glazed carrots and maple-cheesecake bars await. Good luck resisting. Bechard’s Sugar House near West Chazy, New York, is surrounded by 300 sugar maple trees and 450 maple taps. Sap gradually travels from the taps through a network of lines into the main line, where it is collected by…

Syrup is one of many products available at Bechard’s Sugar House. (DoNorth/Rachel Penders)

Maple candy hangs on the rack next to a tub of maple cream with spoons. The sweet scent from a fresh batch of maple coffee drifts through the sugar house. Maple tea bags and maple sugar lie next to each other on a stand. A stack of home recipes for treats like maple-glazed carrots and maple-cheesecake bars await. Good luck resisting.

Bechard’s Sugar House near West Chazy, New York, is surrounded by 300 sugar maple trees and 450 maple taps. Sap gradually travels from the taps through a network of lines into the main line, where it is collected by the sap extractor and transported to a 1,200-gallon tank. Reverse osmosis extracts up to 75 percent of the sap’s water, and UV lights kill bacteria before the sap enters the evaporator. Within 40 minutes, it’s authentic New York maple syrup.

“Maple is such a primary flavor of the North Country,” says Tammy Bechard. What started as a hobby for her husband, Marvin, has grown into a full-fledged maple operation, tempting taste buds since 1998.

Tammy and Marvin will share the bounty of their hard work at the Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider and Food Festival, October 11-13 in Plattsburgh’s Crete Civic Center, alongside 30 other vendors and 15 wineries. Cheese, apples, coffee, grilling and vegetables join maple goodies on the spread. The vendors welcome eaters from all over as various bands accompany the tasting party with jazz, rock-and-roll and folk music. The Race to Taste Cooking Competition pits New York cooking schools against one another as they use festival-supplied ingredients to showcase local farm products and impress the judges. Cue the maple-glazed entrée.

Festival Chairman Tom Frey says, “It’s like nothing you ever had at home.”

 

Issue 3: Summer/Fall 2014

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