This past weekend, I drove deep into Somerset County on a quest for maple syrup.Well, really, I was just bored and wanted to get away for a few days and maple syrup was a good excuse. My first stop was at the Somerset Historical Center, just a short skip off the good ol’ PA Turnpike. Since the outdoor areas are closed until spring, I walked through the indoor exhibits of PA history, old farm equipment and maple sugaring accessories. I really liked this place. Of course, shopping is always in order, so the gift shop beckoned. I fell in love with an adorable house shaped maple sugar mold, and was excited when Mark Ware showed me a sample of how the maple sugar house looked when unmolded. I wish they sold those at the gift shop!
A picture filled tretise on maple sugaring and a little package of goose beans ( the beans are a story in themselves, for another time) in hand and I was on my way. Next stop? Meyersdale, home of the upcoming PA Maple Festival. The Levi Deal Mansion was my headquarters. . .. beautiful B&B, lovelier than lovely hosts, and perfect food.
With suggestions from Jan and Michael at Levi Deal, I visited the Milroy Farms Sugar Camp for syrup and sugar, the Springs Store for donuts, Landis Bakery for gobs and more. Yes, it was a festival of carbs.
In my conversations with locals, I learned a lot about sugaring and maple syrup, and about living in southern Somerset County. Even without autumn leaves or budding trees, this area still charms. It’s only about 1 1/2 hours from Pittsburgh, so it works for a day trip, but it’s so peaceful there, with so many culinary treasures, staying overnight is a must.