Ioka Valley Farm Maple Goodness: Maple Syrup Tasting, Sugar House & Pancake Breakfast Calf-A

by Sandra Foyt on March 10, 2010

in Food Adventures

maple_syrup For years, we’ve been passing the Ioka Valley Farm on our way to Jiminy Peak, never guessing at its golden treasures.

On a fluke, we decided to stop this weekend after skiing, lured in by the signs for the Pancake Breakfast.  At 3:30PM, we just missed the last call for pancakes, but we weren’t too late for a mind-blowing maple syrup tasting.  If you thought all maple syrups were created equal, be prepared to be shocked and amazed.

At the tasting, we sampled the grades of maple syrup in order from lightest to darkest.  Grade A, Light Amber, the sweetest of the lot, was my son’s favorite.  I preferred the darker syrups, with a more intense maple flavor; and my favorite was the Grade B, the darkest of the lot.  My husband tried to drop out of the maple tasting, he just didn’t have the fortitude, or perhaps the training, to handle the sugar overload.

Nevertheless, he had to persevere as there was more sweet tasting to be done.  We had yet to sample the maple cream, maple mustard, and maple bbq sauce.  At the end, the only items we didn’t taste were the maple sugar, or the maple candy (but we bought some for the ride home!)

When we were finished, we stocked up on the very reasonable maple syrup, and also on the pasture raised beef.  But, we’ll be back another day to see the sugar house processing the maple sap, and to finally try the Pancake Breakfast at the Calf-A!

Ioka Valley Farm
Calf-A – Weekends Only, February 13 – April 11, 8:30AM-3:30PM
P.O.Box 1045, Hancock, MA 
(413) 738-5915

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| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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