H is for Highland Foods Maple Pepper | Maple makes everything taste better.

The maple connoisseur in my family is my husband. It is with great pride that he was able to wean me off of imitation maple syrup and onto the real stuff. Now I’m a convert and the worst kind of zealot. I can’t image not using the real stuff for my pancakes, over ice cream or in recipes.

Other maple products have thus far eluded me even though there are many to choose from in Maine. There was even a limited edition craft beer release of Maple Sunday from Lone Pine Brewing that was released this year on Maine Maple Sunday.  I blogged about Maine Maple Sunday during last year’s challenge with my post #atozchallenge | C is for Coopers Maple Products and Maine Maple Sunday.

Last month, with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, I decided to try out Highland Foods Maple PepperTM and cook the Guinness Beef Stew recipe listed on their blog. Highland Foods has been making maple pepper for thirty years and they sell three types: garlic, original and habanero. I used the original maple pepper for my beef stew. The original flavor is made with 100% pure maple sugar, sea salt and black pepper along with a few other ingredients. Continue reading

#atozchallenge | C is for Coopers Maple Products and Maine Maple Sunday

I know this will be hard to imagine, but even after all these years of living in Maine, I have actually never gone to one of our many sugar shacks on Maine Maple Sunday. It has always been on my list, but every year something else seems to creep up and we just never make it to one of the area farms. This year was gearing up to be even less likely since Maine Maple Sunday fell on Easter, but it actually ended up working out perfectly since our family plans were later in the day.

Maine Maple Sunday is always held on the fourth Sunday in March. Sugarhouses throughout the state open up that day and host a variety of activities related to maple syrup production.  The Maine Maple Producers Association posted a map listing all the locations that were planning events for the day. The list was pretty long but that’s not surprising. Maine is the third largest producer of maple syrup in the United States according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Continue reading