While it goes without saying that maple syrup is right up there with lobster rolls and blueberry pie in the New England food pantheon, there are many alternative maple concoctions that are worthy in their own right. Inspired by the 2020 Yankee feature “Eight Ways to Make the Most of Maple Season,” we rounded up a few favorite New England–made maple products that give new meaning to maple.
Our Favorite Maple Products (That Aren’t Syrup)
When I was a kid growing up in northern New Hampshire, my family would tumble out of the car at the annual town fair and — beelining through the cacophony of buzzers and screaming tilt-a-whirl riders — head for Fuller’s Sugar House. Tucked away near the cow barns and the 4-H creamery stood the shack where, like New England Rumplestiltskins, the staffers spun maple sugar into cotton-candy gold. We’d pick up a bag for every member of the family, plus an extra one for good measure. It was hard not to devour an entire bag immediately, but, in a rare display of childhood self-restraint, I would usually save half.
Later in life, I tried maple cream for the first time. And let me tell you: You haven’t lived until you’ve had a piece of buttered toast with maple cream on top. Nowadays my mom keeps a jar or two of Mount Cabot Maple’s maple cream on hand at all times.
There’s something in this list for nearly everyone. Fans of savory-sweet combinations will love the maple pepper, maple-smoked cheddar, and maple sriracha, while those with a sweet tooth may prefer to pop open a tub of the aforementioned maple cotton candy. And not everything is meant to be eaten: We found earrings, ceramics, refrigerator magnets, and even art supplies.
Ready to take your love for maple to the next level? Read on for our full list of maple-inspired products.
Farmhouse Maple Ketchup by Baird Farm
Combining sweetness with the acidic punch of tomato and a slight smokiness, this maple ketchup might just be the perfect condiment. $7.75 for 12-ounce bottle. North Chittenden, VT. bairdfarm.com
Maple Creemee Magnet by Danforth Pewter
Ahh, maple creemees. What better way to show your love for these magical swirls of maple ice cream than to add this magnet to your fridge collection? No matter how you spell the name of this classic Vermont treat, this magnet sure is cute! $9.95. Middlebury, VT. danforthpewter.com
Maple Leaf Earrings by Ravenstone Gifts
Handcrafted in Massachusetts, these lightweight, gold-plated brass leaves will help you celebrate the golden hues of autumn all “ear” round! $26. Lynn, MA. etsy.com/ravenstonegifts
Sugarhouse Ceramic Company
Maple Art Brushes by Sugarhouse Ceramic Company
Crafted from segments of Vermont maple branches collected at the Sugarhouse Homestead, these art brushes might provide inspiration for your next masterpiece. From $8.50. East Fairfield, VT. sugarhouseceramicco.com
Maple-Smoked Cheddar by Grafton Village Cheese
Cold-smoked over maple and hardwood, this cheddar would make a clever charcuterie board addition, a superb sandwich layer, and (we imagine) a marvelous mac and cheese. $12 per 8-ounce block. Grafton, VT. graftonvillagecheese.com
Maple Seed Jug by Laura Zindel Design
Whether you call them helicopters, whirlybirds, or samaras, the distinctive seeds of a maple tree make a beautiful decoration. $275. Brattleboro, VT. laurazindel.com
The Vermont Country Store
Maple Bath and Body Bars by Vermont Soap
Subtly maple-scented, these soaps will keep you smelling fresh, clean, and maybe even a little sweet. Exclusive to The Vermont Country Store. $16.50 for trio of 4.2-ounce bars. Made in Vermont. vermontcountrystore.com
Highland Foods LLC
Maple Pepper with Garlic by Highland Foods
This black pepper blend, which includes 100 percent pure maple sugar, sea salt, and garlic, might just become a staple on your dinner table. $5.65 per 3-ounce bottle. Newcastle, ME. maplepepper.com
Vermont Maple Sriracha by Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind
Spice up your life, New England–style, with this all-natural maple hot sauce. $10.95 per 8-ounce bottle. Rutland, VT. sugarbobsfinestkind.com
The Vermont Country Store
Maple Cotton Candy by The Vermont Country Store
This is what dreams are made of — spun from pure Vermont maple sugar and sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. $12.90 for a set of two 1-ounce tubs. Made in Vermont. vermontcountrystore.com