In 1938, a hurricane swept across New England. In Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, Wilfred “Sugar Bill” Dexter and his wife, Polly, had recently converted their maple farm’s carriage shed into a tearoom called Polly’s Pancake Parlor. They sold pancakes, of course, as well as waffles and French toast with maple syrup, all of which were meant to highlight the delicious yield from their sugarbush. After the storm, the family found themselves saddled with apples that had been knocked from their trees. To preserve the fruit, they sliced it up and cooked it in melted butter and their house syrup. With three simple ingredients, Maple Hurricane Sauce was born.
Maple Hurricane Sauce hit the menu hard, ravaging everything in its path. The tearoom sold pancakes, waffles, and even ice cream smothered with the tangy-sweet topping. Although Polly’s Pancake Parlor now operates out of a new building, Sugar Bill’s descendants continue to put their family’s maple products in the spotlight. Diners love the fruity compote atop just about anything, but some say the breakfast is secondary. Jane and Michael Stern, authors of 500 Things to Eat Before It’s Too Late, admit to eating spoonfuls of the sweet stuff straight from the jar.