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Riven Rock Ranch Uses True Artisan Maple Syrup
Monday, September 12, 2011
How many businesses thrive without a website these days? In an age obsessed with marketing, expansion, increased profitability and immediate information, it’s phenomenal to meet someone dedicated solely to their art. Meet Truman Young—a legend in the Vermont maple syrup industry. Truman has been making maple sugar for more than 80 years. After starting out at age 12, now 93, he’s still boiling maple sap in Tinmouth, Vermont. Without a website or a logo, Truman manages to produce award-winning maple syrup that’s some of the best in the world.
Being a sugarmaker is no easy task. Like any agricultural-based industry, sugarmakers are subject to a number of obstacles, both nature and man-made. Reading through a history of the maple trade is like reading a police blotter—incidents logged include instances of packaging issues, oil shortages, pear thrips, acid rain and AHL beetles—all of which put a damper on maple syrup production.
Still Truman and his fellow sugarmakers have persevered. Starting in the spring every year, they begin the process of making maple syrup. Maple trees are tapped, spiles are inserted, and depending on the sophication of the system—whether the sugarmaker is a hobbyist or a commercial producer—maple sap may be collected in a bucket or fed through a tubing system and sent to a collection tank. After the collection process, the sap is fed into the sugar house where it is “boiled down,” or much of the water in the sap evaporates and concentrated into the maple syrup. After a filtration process, it becomes the maple syrup we know and love.
Every year, Truman goes through this process to bring his customers a quality product. Of course, with something so good, there’s only a finite supply. With a list of clients who come back year after year, there isn’t much left over for the rest of us. Fortunately, Riven Rock Ranch has found its way on his list. His award-winning Vermont Maple syrup is a perfect complement to Chef Brantley’s warm French toast and many of his other breakfast creations.
Next time you stay at Riven Rock Ranch or visit The Terrace Grill and enjoy one of Chef Brantley’s delicious meals, take a good look down at your plate. Most of the vegetables, meat and fish can be traced back to a single farm, a single ranch, a single fishing boat. There’s something awe inspiring about being able to follow an ingredient in your dish to someone like Truman.
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