Time to go tapping for maple syrup, the sweetest time of the year has finally arrived! The maple leaf has come to symbolize Canada and its national pride as early as 1867! Everyone knows that maple syrup is a perfect match for waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, crumpets and French toasts due to its sweet and unique taste!
↑ Picture of Maple Syrups with different grades
The Story of Maple Syrup
↑ Picture of the Red Maple Tree
Canada is known as the largest and leading producer of maple syrup, producing about 75 to 80 percent of the world’s supply of maple syrup. The Native Americans living in the northeast part of North America, first taught the European settlers how to tap maple trees and boil down the sap in the 1800’s. The European settlers were quick with their studies, their new knowledge became part of how we currently collect maple syrup. Three species of maple trees that are mainly used to produce maple syrup includes: sugar maple, red maple and black maple. Due to its high sugar content, red maple has a shorter season than black and sugar maples, because it buds up earlier which changes the flavour of the sap.
Tapping a Maple Tree
↑ Picture of Maple Sap
1. To drill for a tapping hole, drill about 3 feet from the ground and 1 1/2″ – 2″ into the trunk. Drill to the required depth for your spile. Make sure that you are drilling a hole on the sunniest side of the tree at slight angle downward from the trunk.
2. Put in the spile into the hole that you drilled and tap sternly into the place with your hammer.
3. Hang the bucket to the spile and cover the bucket by placing the lid on top.
4. The bucket should be checked daily, stored sap should be collected and boiled down.
For more detailed information on how to tap a maple tree for maple syrup go to:
Maple Syrup Grades (Canadian Standards)
↑ Picture of Maple Syrups (From left to right: A Light Amber, A Medium Amber, A Dark Amber, Grade B)
To qualify as maple syrup in Canada, they must contain a high sugar content (at least 66.9%), and be made exclusively from maple sap. The syrup has a different range of colours from pale golden to dark brown, depending on when the syrup is made. As the spring warms up, the sap becomes darker in colour and produces a darker syrup.
Grade A Light Amber (Fancy) → Mildest
Grade A Medium Amber → Still light but shade darker than Fancy. Traditional pancake maple syrup along with the Dark Amber.
Grade A Dark Amber → Milder flavour than Grade B. Usually produced toward the end of the season, fresh flavour and good selection for baking.
Grade B → Usually made at the end of the season, very dark and strong with a rich maple flavour.
* Maple syrup grades have nothing to do with quality or nutrition, instead they are referring to the colour of the syrup. *
Acer Pictum Subsp. Mono
↑ Picture of Acer Mono Sap
Most people from Korea, China and Japan would know what acer mono sap is as it is primarily found in these countries. However, what many people don’t know is that the sap from these trees are also used as an ingredient for maple syrup! Acer mono sap can go bad quickly, because it is sold just as a beverage during spring, without any fictional manufacturing process. However, it’s very good that we can use Acer mono sap as an ingredient for maple syrup, and enjoy it all 4 seasons. Recently, there was a study from a university in the U.S.A. that acer mono sap is very effective to prevent diabetes, cancers, aging and really good for the uses of diet. It also helps you to recover from fatigue and reinforcement.
Canada has definitely given the world a new deliciously sweet delight!