Did you know that December 17 is Maple Syrup Day? How well do you know of this golden liquid? Allow me to present you with a few tidbits of information.
- Though it can vary depending on the weather, the sap is collected between February and April.
- Quebec produces 91% of Canada’s pure maple syrup. With Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, that makes up 71% of the world’s supply. New York and New England states also produce a large measure of maple syrup.
- There are more than 8,600 maple syrup businesses in Canada. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup (FPAQ) ensures the economic, social and ethical interests for the more than 7,400 maple businesses in Quebec.
- Collecting sap from maple trees is regulated, in part, by the International Maple Syrup Institute (to promote the use of pure maple syrup and protect the integrity of the product).
- The maple is the symbol depicted on Canada’s flag and is a state tree in New York and Vermont.
- Most “maple flavoured” syrups contain corn syrup and has little or no maple syrup.
- Maple Syrup has more calcium than milk (per unit volume) and more potassium than bananas (per weight volume). It also has Manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron, not to mention vitamins. Compared to processed white sugar, maple syrup can be a healthier sweetener. For more information about this, see the Maple Syrup Nutritional Information.
- Choosing a tree to sap, it must be 25 cm (10 inches) in diameter, and it must be at least 40 years old.
- The tree has a healing process called walling-off, which prevents the same hole from being used a second time. However, a single tree can be tapped for more than a century.
- Each mature tree can produce about 40 litres (10 gallons) of sap per season.
- In order to create 1 litre of maple syrup, 40 litres of sap is needed.
- Sap is 95% water. The process for making maple syrup is to boil the sap at 4° Celsius (7 ° Fahrenheit). After this stage it is about 66% sugar and is classified as sugar. Pure maple syrup is sap that has been condensed further by evaporating the excess water.
There are many sites on the internet dedicated to maple syrup. A few are Eat North which has a “10 things you didn’t know about maple syrup” page; the CBC Digital Archives which has a lot of videos and links; you can find a lot more at Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association, including lists of maple syrup festivals; Coombs Family Farm has a nice collection of maple syrup recipes;
The National Post as an article, Maple syrup ‘fraud’ could be a thing of the past under new joint Canada-U.S. rules which is interesting. And if you remember, recently there was the $30 million theft of maple syrup – CBC News has a great article about it.