Maple Syrup History
The process of making maple syrup is an age-old tradition of the North American Indians, who used it both as a food and as a medicine. They would make incisions into trees with their tomahawks and use birch barks to collect the sap. The sap would be condensed into syrup by evaporating the excess water using one of two methods: plunging hot stones into the sap or the nightly freezing of the sap, following by the morning removal of the frozen water layer.

When the settlers came to North America, they were fascinated by this traditional process and in awe of the delicious, natural sweetener it produced. They developed other methods to reduce the syrup, using iron drill bits to tap the trees and then boiling the sap in the metal kettles in which it was collected. Maple syrup was the main sweetener used by the colonists since sugar from the West Indies was highly taxed and very expensive.

As sugar became cheaper to produce, it began to replace maple syrup as a relied upon sweetener. In fact, maple syrup production is approximately one-fifth of what it was in the beginning of the 20th century.

Did You Know?

-        Maple syrup is made only in North America.

-        New York is the third largest maple syrup producer following Quebec and Vermont.

-        Sap begins to run when the days are above freezing, and the nights are below freezing.

-        Maple sap can run at the rate of up to 150 drops-per-minute.

-        Taking a small amount of sap does not damage the tree.

-        Each tap in a tree will produce approximately one quart of syrup.

-     Pure maple syrup has no fat, no cholesterol, and no proteins, and is a good source of three essential elements – calcium, iron,   and thiamin.

-        Maple syrup is low in sodium and has no more calories than sugar – 200 calories per ¼ cup.

-        It requires an average of 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

-        The boiling point of maple syrup is 219 degrees Fahrenheit, or 7 degrees above the boiling point of water.

-        To be sold legally, maple syrup must have 66% sugar content.

-        The maple syrup season lasts from three to six weeks.

-        As soon as the buds on the trees begin to open, the sap is no longer suitable for making maple syrup.

-        Larger maple trees can safely be tapped with more spiles.

-        A maple tree has to be around 40 years old before it is large enough to tap for syrup production.

Grades of Maple Syrup

 

Maple syrup available from producers or on the shelves of your local markets must meet exacting standards of purity.  These standards, called grades, are established by the US Department of Agriculture.  Grades distinguish the color and flavor of the syrup.  High quality syrup can be made only by the evaporation of pure maple sap, and by weight contains no less than 66 percent sugar.  The darker the syrup, the stronger the maple flavor will be.  Please remember the difference between grades is a matter of taste preference – not quality.

 

New York Grade A Light Amber

-        light amber color, delicate maple bouquet

-        delightfully mild maple flavor, excellent on ice cream, pancakes, or on foods which permit its subtle flavor to be appreciated

-        usually made earlier in the season when the weather is colder

  

New York Grade A Medium Amber

-        a bit darker amber color, stronger maple bouquet

-        a more pronounced maple flavor

-        popular for table and all-around use

-        usually made after the sugaring season begins to warm about mid-season

 

New York Grade A Dark Amber

-        dark amber color, robust maple bouquet

-        heartier maple flavor

-        also very popular for table and all-around use

-        usually made late in the season as the days get longer and warmer

 

New York Extra Dark for Cooking

-        darkest  table grade

-        extremely strong maple taste as well as hints of caramel

-        often used for cooking and baking when you want the pronounced maple flavor to shine through

-        usually made at the very end of the season

Storage of Maple Products

 

Proper storage of your New York State maple products ensures their quality when they reach your table.  Unopened containers of maple syrup should be stored in a cool, dry place.  Once opened, maple syrup should be refrigerated.  Extra syrup may be frozen to maintain quality. Our maple syrup is 100% natural and pure with no additives or preservatives.

If, after extended storage, mold should form on the surface of the syrup, the original quality can be restored.  Remove the mold, heat the syrup to boiling, skim the surface, sterilize the container and refill it with the syrup.