History of Maple Syrup
North American Natives were the first to discover maple syrup, and they taught early settlers their springtime tradition. Maple sap was originally collected in wooden or bark vessels, then boiled and stored as hard sugar. Eventually, sap collection progressed to metal buckets and was then boiled in a kettle or evaporation pan.
Today, Maple Ridge Farm uses a vacuum and tube system to collect sap, which increases the syrup yield significantly. Sap is only collected during March and April when night temperatures are about -5C and daytime temperatures reach about +5C.
Large stainless steel tanks store collected sap, which is then processed in a reverse osmosis machine to reduce the sap’s water content. This concentrate is boiled in an evaporator with high-pressure steam until the syrup reaches a temperature of 220°F. Following filtration, maple syrup is pour hot into barrels or containers for consumer use.
Maple Syrup Facts
- Maple syrup can be used in cooking as an alternative to sugar: use a 1:1 ratio and reduce the liquid ingredients in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
- Maple syrup is a significant source of calcium, iron, manganese, and zinc.
- A maple tree needs to be at least 12in in diameter before it can be tapped; as it grows, it can accommodate up to four taps.
- Only 10% of a tree’s sap is collected in a year.
- About 40L of sap are boiled to make 1L of maple syrup; almost 4L of maple syrup are boiled further to create around 8lb of maple candy or sugar.