About Pure Maple Syrup
It is only made in Eastern Canada and North-eastern USA from the sap of sugar maple, black maple and sometimes red maple trees. The Canadian Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. account for 80% of the World's production. The north-eastern United States (Vermont, New York, Maine, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Minnesota) make up the rest of production.
As spring approaches, sugar makers take to the maple forests (sugar bushes) to tap the maple trees. A drill is used to make a small hole in the tree- from which the tree sap flows on warm spring days that follow freezing nights. Ideal weather for sap production is +4 to +8 degrees in the day and below freezing at night. The most modern and widely used method of collecting maple sap is plastic pipeline. The use of pipeline allows sugar makers to tap more trees with less labour as compared to collecting sap with buckets.
At the sugar camp, the maple sap is boiled in an evaporator . Water is boiled out of the sap to concentrate the natural sugars in it to produce maple syrup. The steam from the water being boiled away from the sap fills the sugar camp with a warm sweet maple aroma. After boiling for some time, the sap thickens to a darker, sweeter maple syrup. A dipper is still used along with other instruments to measure the sweetness of the sap (density) to know when the boiling process is finished. At a 66 percent sugar content the maple syrup is ready to be drawn off and filtered . The pure maple syrup is then packaged into containers to be sold, made into maple sugar candy, maple cream, or maple taffy-on-snow. (more info on maple production at Wheelers)
Visit the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Site for more info: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/maple.htm
The Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&ArticleId=A0005095
Pure maple syrup is a unique and natural product. It is produced strictly by the concentration of sap from the maple tree and contains no additives or preservatives. Pure maple syrup contains a variety of minerals that promote good health, including calcium, magnesium and manganese as well as cancer fighting antioxidants. Maple syrup has been found to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties.
Maple Syrup grading is based on colour and flavour. Many factors determine the colour and flavour of Pure Maple Syrup. They include outside temperature, cleanliness of the equipment, and how long it takes for the sap to be made into maple syrup. The warmer the raw sap is, and the longer it sits, the darker the syrup and stronger the flavour. All maple syrup is the same thickness (density).