Maple syrup was first made and used by the Indigenous peoples of North America.
Virtually all of the world's maple syrup is produced in Canada and the United States.
It takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup.
The first written account of maple syrup dates back to the 1600s.
It takes nearly 40 years before a tree is big enough to tap.
2oz of maple syrup has the same amount of antioxidants as a serving of broccoli.
Maple sap is 2% sugar and maple syrup is around 66% sugar.
Sap flow is dependent on temperatures above 32°F during the day and fluctuating to below freezing at night.
A maple tree mature enough for tapping will be 12 inches in diameter at 4 feet from the ground.
Tapping does no permanent damage to a healthy tree and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year.
Each hole from tapping the tree heals by the next year.
Some maple trees have been tapped for over 150 years.
Syrup is graded based off of clarity and color.
The Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) has the highest sugar concentration on average.
Groups of sugar maples, or maple trees in general, are referred to as a sugarbush.
Each tree will yield on average 10 gallons of sap, only one quart of syrup.
Sugar season can last 8-10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for 14-21 days in early spring.
Maple syrup contains essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and manganese.
The vitamins present in pure maple syrup include; niacin, B1, B2, B5, B6, niacin, and choline.
Pure Maple Syrup is a completely natural product without preservatives or additives.
A gallon of pure maple syrup weighs about 11 pounds.
Maple sap can run at the rate of up to 150 drops per minute.
As soon as the buds on the tree begin to open, the sap is no longer suitable for making syrup because it becomes bitter.
There are 13 species of maple trees thrive in Canada and the U.S. but only sugar maple, black maple and red maple can be tapped to make maple syrup.
Most maple trees can yield sap for around 100 years.
Vermont produces about 50% of the maple syrup made in United States. The state had a record year in 2020 with 2.22 million gallons produced.
Warm winters can cause the trees to bud earlier and make the quality of the sap to go down.
After the sap has been harvested, it is put through a reverse osmosis machine to remove some of the water before boiling.
When the sap reaches 219°F during boiling it is ready to come off. It will then be filtered, adjusted for density, and graded for flavor and color.
The darker syrup the stronger flavor.
Indigenous peoples used maple syrup to cure meats.
The flavor of maple syrup depends on when the sap runs. Early season sap tends to be lighter in color and flavor. Later in the season, when temperatures are warmer, the sap darkens.
Maple syrup can be a 1:1 substitution for liquid sweeteners such as honey, molasses, and corn syrup. To swap out granulated sweeteners like white sugar, use 2/3 cup of maple syrup for every 1 cup of granulated sugar and reduce the quantity of liquid ingredients in the recipe.
If tapping is done incorrectly it can expose the tree to microorganisms that can kill the tree.
Unopened maple syrup can be stored at room temperature, but once opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator. Syrup can last a long time, but it can also crystallize or it can mold if not refrigerated after opening. Crystallization a reflection of a syrup’s sugar content and isn’t harmful. The mold can be removed using a clean Q-tip, but it’s easier to just put the ironed bottle of syrup in the fridge to prevent it.
Maple flavored breakfast syrup is really corn syrup among many other ingredients and is not made from maple sap.
As sugar maples grow, they convert starch into sugar. This sugar mixes with water absorbed by the trees’ roots. When temperatures start to climb in the spring, the water-sugar mixture expands, forcing its way from the roots up through the tree.
Research done at The University of Rhode Island found that the antioxidant properties of maple syrup have protective benefits against tumors, and can slow down the growth of cancers.