Maple syrup is made from the xylem sap collected from sugar maple, black maple, or red maple trees during the spring. However, maple syrup can also be made from other species of maple tree. During cold seasons, the maple trees store starch in their roots and trunks before the winter. In late winter and early spring, the starch is then converted to sugar. Maple syrup is collected by drilling holes into the trunks of maple trees, and the trickling sap is collected. The sap collected is then processed through heating for much of the water to evaporate thus leaving behind the concentrated maple syrup.
The History Of Maple Syrup
The indigenous peoples residing in the northeastern region of North America were the first people to have produced maple sugar and maple syrup. According to archaeological evidence together with indigenous oral evidence, maple syrup was being collected and processed into syrup long before the region experienced an influx of Europeans. There exists no factual accounts as to just how the production and consumption of maple syrup started, but a number of legends exist. One of the most famous legends includes the use of maple sap instead of water to prepare venison served to a chief. Indigenous tribes established rituals around the making of sugar such as the Maple Dance to celebrate the Sugar Moon which was spring's first full moon.
Production Of maple syrup
A farm where maple syrup is produced is called a sugar wood or Sugarbush. During processing maple sap is often boiled in a sugar house popularly known as a sugar shanty or a sugar shack (French: cabane à sucre) which is an establishment with louver ventilation on top to vent out the steam emitted from the boiling sap. A maple tree begins to be tapped when they reach an age of between 30 and 40 years. Each Maple tree supports about one to three taps with an average tree producing about 9.2 gal to 13.2 gals of sap per season or 3.2 gal of sap per day.
The Top Maple Syrup Producing Provinces In Canada
Following the rapid growth of maple production in the 1990s, Canada produces over 80% of maple syrup in the world with about 7,000,000 gals produced in 2004. A great percentage of maple syrup produced in Canada comes from the Province of Quebec making it the largest producer of maple in the world with about 75% of the global production accounting for 6,3000,000 gals in 2005. The number of maple syrup farms in Quebec, Canada is 7,639 farms, the highest of any province in the country. Ontario is the second largest Canadian province with a number of maple syrup farms with about 2,673 farms which produce much smaller amounts of maple syrup. The third largest Canadian province with the number of farms is New Brunswick with 191 farms. Other provinces with maple syrup farms include Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Significance Of Sugar Shacks To The Canadian Culture
Sugar shacks are an important aspect of the Canadian culture, particularly in Quebec. Many families spend their Easter dinner dining together at a Sugar Shack to consume some of the traditional culinary coated with maple syrup. Usually, people consume food coated with maple syrup while enjoying the rhythm of Quebec folk tunes.