February 28, 2003
The University of Maine at Fort Kent's French Heritage Council will host the fifth annual UMFK "Sucrerie" on campus Thursday, March 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Nowland Hall.
The maple sugar camp recreation is open to the public and will feature a maple sugar making demonstration, an Acadian buffet, traditional maple taffy pull, and live entertainment.
"Everyone young and old enjoys our "Sucrerie"," said Anne Chamberland, Sucrerie organizing committee member. "The event instructs our students and community members to our region's long history of maple sugar-making practices bringing it to them right on campus."
Organizers of the "Sucrerie" are again working with Camille Theriault, UMFK building and grounds maintenance crew leader and Henry Carbone, a part-time UMFK faculty member who produces maple syrup as a hobby, to conduct a demonstration that will show the sweet nectar in various stages of processing.
The presentation will run the gamut from the maple water that is tapped from trees to near maple taffy, which will be further boiled in a demonstration on the campus grounds and poured onto clean snow to recreate the traditional "taffy pull."
In addition to the demonstration, the UMFK maple sugar day will include a traditional Acadian meal served at lunchtime in Nowland Hall. A nominal fee of $3.75 will be charged for the buffet meal only. The maple taffy demonstration and taste testing are free to the public.
"We want to make our "sucrerie" as pleasant and as authentic as possible," said Nora Roy, French Heritage Council member and event coordinator. "The Acadian meal comprised of many regional dishes is also a part of our maple tradition."
Roy has been working with dining services manager Mark Tardif to create the perfect menu for the event.
"We plan to serve a completely Acadian meal with patates fricasses, soupe-aux-poids, chicken stew, ployes and cretons, beans, salad au jardins, molasses cookies, and pudding chaumeur. This will not only be the tastiest meal in town, at $3.75 it will also be the best deal," said Roy.
Serving the Acadian lunch will be student volunteers from the campus community who will dress in Acadian costumes provided by the Greater Madawaska Chamber of Commerce.
"Sucrerie" organizers are also planning live entertainment. Chamberland has arranged for students in Roseanne Gendreau's fifth grade French immersion class to perform several French songs that are favorites of many residents in the St. John Valley.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend the "Sucrerie". For more information, contact the university relations office at 834-7557.