Last week, I had the opportunity to visit The Big E with the YPMB. We marched in the parade and then got some spare time to poke around and eat FAIR FOOD!!
I got my first taste of maple sugar candy in the Maine “capitol”. I’ve wanted to try maple sugar candy since I was little girl reading about it in Little House in the Big Woods, when Laura and the family help sap the trees and have a big maple syrup party. Ma and the other womenfolk stirred and stirred a pot of maple syrup over the fire, and one of them yelled, “Quick girls, it’s graining!” and all the little kids had plates and saucers of snow, and they got the cooked maple syrup poured over their snow, and it hardened into candy. I first read that in first grade, and I still remember that scene (though I probably got some of the details wrong) because I wanted to try that maple candy so badly!!
I bought three varieties in “Maine.” The large chocolate blob in the photo is chocolate covered maple sugar candy with nuts. I’m pretty sure the nut pieces were walnuts. This candy had a crumbly texture. I’m not even sure if it was actually candy, per se; it looked and tasted like a pure chunk of maple sugar, maybe with a little butter added in an attempt to get it to hold together. The maple sugar taste was so strong that it completely overpowered the chocolate coating, which barely registered on my palate, and I found it way too sweet to be enjoyable. My friends ate it though. If you like the cloyingly sweet taste of fudge, you’d probably be able to handle this. I almost couldn’t bear the smell of it in my dorm room. An O.
The light gold maple leaf was basically just a molded, hardened chunk of maple sugar. If you took brown sugar, wet it so that it clumped, and then pressed it into a maple leaf mold, you’d get a good enough approximation of this treat. Another O.
The beautifully translucent amber maple leaf was maple hard candy. This gem had a wonderfully rich and mellow maple syrup flavor without the intense sugar overload, and it melted smoothly on my tongue. I’d give this an OM.