This week we attended a class through a local college that was all about how real maple syrup is made.
First they led us to the place where they are actually making the maple syrup.
They explained how they do not add any ingredients into their syrup-no added sugar, no added dyes. Then they read to us the ingredients of a syrup bought from the store…there was no mention of maple sap in the ingredients….it listed corn syrup, dyes, sugar, preservatives, and chemicals. YUCK!!
We then got to taste it!!
It was so delicious!!!
Next they walked us through the woods where they actually tap the sugar maple trees. We learned how to identify sugar maples, how to tap the trees, and tons of other information along the way.
A few things that we learned:
One way to identify a sugar maple tree is by its bark. It has what they call a peanut butter bark-meaning it looks like peanut butter has been smeared on the trunk. One little boy took this literally as I saw him licking the tree!!!! LOL
It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup!!
Tapping a tree does not hurt the tree, nor is it taking away its food. Since the tapping is done in the spring it is using the leftover sugar from the fall and mixing it with the water from the snow melting and rain. Together this forms the sap which is then boiled down into a concentrated form.
Sap is made up of 2-3% of sugar and the rest is water.
The college that offers this class has volunteers go out with guides to tap the trees, then collect the sap, and once the maple syrup is made and bottled they offer a pancake breakfast to all who helped!! They do not sell the maple syrup….I was very sad about this!!! 😦
Seeing this process has made me wish I had a few sugar maples in my yard……I will be on the lookout for any in my neighborhood for next year!!!! What fun!!
Have you ever tasted freshly made maple syrup????
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