Crown Maple, Pure, Organic Maple Syrup from Madava Farms in the Hudson Valley

Organic, New York maple syrup

Organic, New York maple syrup

Madava Farms

47 McCourt Rd., Dover Plains, NY

845.877.0640; CrownMaple.com 

March is maple season in New York, and Crown Maple in Hudson Valley is known as the purest maple syrup around. It’s also certified organic. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Dutchess County, this hidden treasure is new to the local foodie scene, and quickly making headlines. In fact, Crown Maple syrup was featured in the caramel sauce that topped the Hudson Valley Apple Pie at this year’s presidential inaugural luncheon.

Madava Farms is the home of this artisan syrup, tapped from 800 acres of 150-year-old red maple and sugar maple trees that enjoy perfect soil and produce a superior sap. Owners Robb and Lydia Turner, who named the farm after their daughters Madeline and Ava, were also attracted to the property’s incredible trout streams and scenic mountain top views. Robb consulted with several experts in the maple sugaring industry, including those at Cornell University’s maple institute, to implement best practices for the farm and forest.

Considered the most advanced maple syrup production operation in the country, Madava Farms uses reverse osmosis to extract water from the syrup, along with a simple tapping method to maintain the quality of the forest and land. The sap is processed into syrup the same day it leaves the tree and the syrup is placed in a barrel to keep it as pure as possible. Crown Maple comes in four grades: A light, A medium, A dark and B, with each offering a unique flavor.

On a recent tour of this Hudson Valley treasure, Natural Awakenings publisher Dana Boulanger and some friends were taken through the impressive and immaculate production facility, complete with tasting room, gift shop and café. They sampled the Grade A medium amber, which is nothing like the syrup found in stores. “It has a soft, floral, buttery taste that excites your taste buds and soothes your soul,” says Boulanger. The Grade A medium amber is a favorite of many chefs, for its distinct taste that lends itself to glazes and baking. The darker grade A is perfect for marinade and brines with its more pronounced flavor.

Chef Jacob Griffin at the farm to table café at Madava Farms

Chef Jacob Griffin at the farm to table café at Madava Farms

Visitors to Madava Farms can enjoy hiking on local trails and touring the maple syrup process from tree to bottle. The farm also offers nature programs and culinary events such as demos and chef dinners. Be sure to allow some time to enjoy delicious food at their farm to table café, which serves up unique combinations of food inspired by the versatility of the syrup. The farm also boasts an amazing organic garden, serving the café and other restaurants during the warmer months. Chef Jacob Griffin, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, likes to combine local ingredients from other farms to produce such dishes as brined and smoked chicken, and vegan soups, along with salads, unique pastries and paninis. Boulanger reports that she enjoyed a delicious and delicate pumpkin puree soup and a side salad of organic greens with a light Dijon vinaigrette.

Madava Farms and the Crown Maple facility is a great day trip option for Natural Awakenings foodies and readers, just a short drive from the Putnam County line. After visiting this amazing maple farm you’ll discover that syrup is not just for breakfast, although there is a family pancake breakfast on March 2, featuring five varieties of gourmet pancakes, an assortment of toppings and pulled pork hash. Boulanger plans to make a second trip in warmer weather to hike on this expansive working farm. In the meantime, she says, she’ll be whipping up a few homemade creations of her own with this heavenly syrup.   

 Natasha Bernardez is the Executive Chef of Clean Plate Culinary Inc. Her team specializes in farm to table culinary services, including catering and other customized offerings. To learn more about their services visit CleanPlateCulinary.com.