The best part of spring? Sweet, sweet MAPLE!
Its one of the best times of the year – spring in Canada and all that it brings with it.
Topping the list has to be maple syrup in all of its delectable forms from maple sugar, to fudge to that golden sweet syrup we smother our pancakes in.
Our roller coaster temperatures over the past few weeks are not ideal for maple syrup production.
Ideal conditions are minus 5 at night and plus 5 during the day.
When the nights are cold, water from the soil is absorbed into the maple tree.
During the day, the warmer temperature creates pressure that pushes the water back down to the bottom of the tree, making it easy to collect the maple sap.
The sap is gathered over 12 to 20 days, usually between early March and late April.
After harvesting the sap, its transported to a sugar house where it boils down to become what we know as maple syrup.
During cooking, storage tank pipes feed sap to a long and narrow ridged pan called an evaporator.
As it boils, water evaporates and becomes denser and sweeter.
Sap boils until it reaches the density of maple syrup.
About 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of sap boil down to one liter (about .25 gallons or one quart) of pure maple syrup.
For other maple products – butter, taffy, or sugar – the sweet syrup is further boiled in the evaporator to the temperature necessary to produce the different types of maple products.
There are hundreds of maple syrup producers in Grey Bruce, some who make their living from it and others who simply tap the trees in their yard and make it in their kitchens.
We have several events and festivals coming up to celebrate maple syrup.
Below is a list of some of the bigger events this year.
See you there!
Maple Magic at Regal Point Elk Farm near Wiarton – operates March 18 & 19, 25 & 26
Saugeen Bluffs Maple Syrup Festival – March 25 & 26
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Grey Roots Maple Sugar Moon Festival near Owen Sound – March 25
Old Tyme Maple Syrup Festival – near Paisley – April 2 & 3
And those of you who bring home some of that sweet sticky goodness may want to try some of these recipes.
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