Called liquid gold, Maple Syrup is truly one of nature's finest gifts. Real Maple Syrup is just that - 100 percent pure Maple Syrup. Pancake syrup like you get at the store is crap! It consists of predominately corn syrup, some mollasses and god knows what else. Some manufacturers add up to 4 percent pure maple and that's it!
Native Americans were the first to collect the sweet sap from the Sugar Maple tree, Acer saccharrum, and use in their cooking. As Europeans began settling in America they too learned the process of tapping maple trees, collecting sap and boiling it to yield Maple Syrup.
Maple sap is approximately 98 percent water and 2 percent sugar. To make Maple Syrup, the water has to be boiled off to a concentrate of 66 percent sugar. It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of Maple Syrup.
It's a huge amount of work, wading through sometimes, hip deep snow, snowshoeing or skiing around the orchard, tapping trees and hooking up sap lines in the freezing cold.
Then, there are times when the sap is running, you can't go to sleep for days, because, some one has to boil and pour off the finished product, and keep the fire going.
It's easy to lose track of time, and forget what planet you're on when you're involved in sugaring. There's so much steam n the sugar house you can't see your hand in front of your face. The steam can make a local weather pattern around some sugar houses and it can snow, only where you are so you can't see much out the window either.
It's tiring but, great fun. You come home after a session, having eaten sausage with syrup, eggs and syrup, ice cream and syrup, pancakes and syrup, sugar on snow and sometimes, it's so good, you drink the fresh syrup right from the tap in a glass before you bottle it!