· Food For Thought
Maple Syrup

So, I don’t know about you, but my sap is definitely running.  Accordingly, this issue of the always-free despite being once-complimented, ‘Hot Line’, is dedicated to the sweetest of saps: Maple Syrup.

Have you ever seen a maple grove that’s all rigged up with contemporary syrup collecting equipment?  No more buckets and spigots. 

Spigot in a Maple Tree

They use these thin, plastic tubes to drain the tree-blood into a central collection area.  So, the trees are all sort of ‘networked’ together with these tubes in an eerie sort of arboreal Borg.  This gravity-powered system saves loads of labour hours once it’s properly set up. 

Maple Syrup Fast Facts

  • One mature maple tree will produce roughly ten gallons of sap.  You need roughly 30 gallons of that sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup as we know it. 
  • Maple syrup can be used as a vegan alternative to honey - yes, honey is not vegan because it comes from bees... 
  • Maple Syrup and Table Syrup are not the same! All those years of calling Aunt Jemima's maple syrup, you've been lying to yourself and others. 
  • Only Canada and the USA produce maple syrup.  A whopping 82% of all maple syrup is from Canada and an impressive 91% of all Canada’s syrup is from Quebec.  (Remember our mustard issue where Saskatchewan gave the rest of the world a big, mustardy smack-down on production?  Well, now it’s Quebec’s turn.)
  • While Quebec is the heavyweight champ, there are lots of syrup operations in Ontario as well.  Many of them offer farm tours.  See a full list and schedule here.
  • It takes about 30 years for a tree to be old enough to be tapped.
  • Maple husbandry has given us many common words and expressions.  Upon seeing a particularly ‘sappy’ (linguistic contribution number one) tree, the sap-sucker would often lean back, leer at the svelte Maple and announce to his or her co-workers, “I’d tap that”. 
  • Canada’s biggest customer for maple syrup is the USA.  Customer number two is Japan.
  • Maple syrup is a fantastic grilling ingredient and is used in thousands of barbecue recipes. 

Here are some Recipes that use Maple Syrup!